The wind howls around the tent and makes the sticks bend dangerously inside. Morning rest has turned into a hell of a noise. The draft holes are open to prevent the wind from lifting the small shelter and throwing it from the mountain. I doze in for a moment, breathing heavily through the altitude without realizing time. A mix of resignation, hope and fear creep through my limbs. Slowly I open my eyes and lie…. In our bedroom !?
Nathalie and I are going on a true adventure this summer. I, Johan, leave with four other climbers to Pakistan, where I want to conquer my first 8000'er. Nathalie (my lovely girlfriend) follows in the wake of this one Belgian Gasherbrum expedition together with 15 more tractors.
We chose to start the acclimatization process already in Belgium in order to reduce the risks altitude sickness to limit. Unfortunately, in this fairly flat country no mountain of more than 2000 meters can be found (unless the large project is started in the Netherlands), still the starting height to complete an effective acclimatization. Done something?
More and more fitness centers offer an altitude room. For us, however, not around and impractical because of our full-time job.
If the man cannot go to the mountains, the mountain will come to you !:
ALTITUDE DREAM HEIGHT TRAINING!
What we thought about it:
The altitude generator:
Operation is simple and fast. Easy and well explained. Just follow the schedule and occasionally press a button (usually after three days), nothing more.
The height generator is rather bulky and heavy, and of course, it makes a bit of noise. Fortunately it is linked to a long oxygen hose, so that we could lower the height generator (especially important for poor sleepers). A small puff, on a regular basis, was all that could be heard in the altitude tent.
The height tent:
This height tent is of good quality, hard plastic so that no air can escape. The air with obviously less oxygen of course! Everywhere there are inputs so that the oxygen hose can be plugged in on any side. Handy, because always adaptable per house (situation).
You really feel the same as staying at height. People who doubt it, this works! Even with an extra advantage: it makes you lose weight! The air is rarer, your body thinks it sleeps at 2500 meters. So, after four weeks you clearly experience the result:
After all these years, my advice to all hikers and climbers in the world is still: see it at home, so that you can enjoy it on the spot!
The first days we were slightly tired, even after having slept for eight or nine hours. Your body is adjusting to the unforeseen circumstances in which you throw it. After all these years, my advice to all hikers and climbers in the world is still: see it at home, so that you can enjoy it on the spot!
Take into account the following part in the process:
To really enjoy it to the full, you have to stay at least ten hours in the altitude tent. People with a busy job and children (who we don't have) can soon consider this a burden. Still keep doing, the gift is waiting in the mountains.
The agreements were largely via telephone and e-mail. Always very polite, extremely friendly and clear. The agreements made were implemented to the letter.
The team is concerned with the customer, provides the “sleep advice” and takes care of the follow-up (if you have any questions).
The installation and demolition was also provided by the company and is fast and efficient, with a great enthusiastic and friendly explanation on site from Jelle.
These people love what they do, for whom they do it and how they do it!
Our first objective has always been: acclimatization. You can feel it. An additional advantage that you already notice at home;
I felt different during the training sessions. Not after day one, but after week two. Usually much better, smoother, almost more elegant, was walking and cycling. Sometimes there was a really tough day. Generally, the day after "rising." Then you can just build in a recuperation moment, and even skip a day.
We are very excited that we got to know Altitude Dream! This makes us both feel more secure and safer once we go into the mountains. It is a long process in the run-up, but:
This is worth it! We still do this!
A huge "thank you" to the entire team of Altitude Dream
by Johan Schots and Nathalie Leon