Cyclist Death

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by doc, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. doc

    doc Booting up Skier

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    Posting this as a bit of a warning about possibly doing too much too soon. Read on a local neighborhood forum this morning that a 53 year old man, who had just flown into Denver yesterday morning from Minnesota, was riding up Squaw Pass with a buddy in the mid-afternoon heat only to collapse and die around the entrance to the Echo Mountain ski area at around the 10,000 foot altitude. Leaves a wife and several kids. Sad. He was planning to ride the Triple Bypass (on which Squaw Pass is the first of three high passes). That hits close to home, as Squaw is a regular ride for me, I'm older than he was, and I lost a friend on Squaw during the Triple a number a years ago who died on the descent on a very cold July morning.
     
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  2. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Think its altitude?
    @SkiNurse posted something about the impact that altitude has on the body.
    Either way, thanks for the warning and condolences to his family.
    Sad. :(
     
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  3. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I'm guessing a combination of altitude and heat. It's been brutally hot in Colorado and many people don't understand the effects of the blazing sun at altitude to how hot a body feels.
     
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  4. oldschoolskier

    oldschoolskier Out on the slopes Skier

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    Heart felt feels out to Family.

    Definitely altitude and heat. Several months back we went to Ecuador and the kids (16-19) trained and 2800 and 3200m, we saw a dramatic drop in performance and endurance, we even let them acclimatize first for a few days before doing anything.

    We shouldn’t underestimate the effects of altidude, add in heat stress only compounds the issue. This applies no matter what shape, condition and training you do. The only ones not effected are those that train in those conditions on a consistent and regular basis.
     
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  5. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    And sweat evaporates much more quickly, so you may not realize how quickly you're losing water ... and electrolytes.

    This is very sad =/
     
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  6. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    It is. And you are right, I grew up here, and played soccer quite um avidly. When I went to Texas in college and played there, I was shocked -- SHOCKED -- to discover that I actually sweat. Occasionally I might have perspired here, but it was gone in 3 or 4 seconds. But in central TX ... holy shit. Like, wringing wet. Ew.
     
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  7. TexasStout

    TexasStout THE Texan is here! Skier

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    Saw that too on Nextdoor. Two people witnessed and proceeded w CPR immediately, to no avail. Altitude and heat were probably major factors. He may not have realized that with CO low humidity it is easy to get dehydrated and coupling that with the other two can really stress your body.

    Has me reflecting as i do Squaw several times per year and, i too come from low altitude and am usually not well acclimated when i ride it. I also am older than the rider who died. Would like to ride the pass thus summer, but am still trying to get myself to a level of cycling fitness to where i think I'm ready for it.
     
  8. Willy

    Willy aka Goldmember Industry Insider

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    I didn't think girls sweat....I was told they glisten.

    I spent just a couple of days in the Atacama Desert in N. Chile several years ago. The elevation where I was at was around 12,500' and dry as a bone (some areas of the Atacama have never recorded precipitation in something like 150 years of weather reporting). Although the temps were high 60's, we were told to drink plenty of water. You're in the sun all day and, though not hot, you would lose anywhere from 5 to 10 lbs from water evaporation from your body. The air is so dry, coupled with the sun that you would lose water weight without ever breaking a sweat.

    Exertion, elevation, and heat in the Colorado Rockies this time of year for a 53 year old from MN without acclimation is a real problem that this guy apparently didn't consider. It's also entirely possible that he had a heart attack that may have had some underlying, undetected cause. Regardless, condolences to his family.
     
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  9. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:
     
  10. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

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    I would have to imagine that some one with that level of fitness would not die just because of altitude and climate change. There was most probably an underlying condition: most likely cardiac.
     
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  11. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    The no sweat thing must be nice. Here on the East Coast, my biggest problem when riding is the rivers of sweat washing into my eyes!
     
  12. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    I'm not sure I agree with this. Fitness doesn't beat altitude.
     
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  13. oldschoolskier

    oldschoolskier Out on the slopes Skier

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    No it is more basic than that, some people adapt easily to different conditions, some don’t regardless of fitness level. This is genetics, luck of the draw and what day it is.

    Mountain climbers know this and even experienced climbers are still prone to altitude sickness.
     
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  14. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    From what I've seen, being okay one time doesn't necessarily mean you won't be affected the next time, either. And it seems to get worse with age.
     
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  15. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

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    Altitude does kill, but not usually in the circumstances described in the OP. Most of us on this forum frequently make huge changes in altitude and then engage in strenuous exercise, yet this is the first sudden death I can remember being reported. I'm not saying that the climate and altitude were not factors, just most likely not the only ones. Everyone who lives in Phoenix makes a seven thousand ft change in altitude every weekend in the winter to ski at Snowbowl, often with a change of over sixty degrees in temperature. This just seems to be an uncommon outcome for a common experience.
     
  16. raytseng

    raytseng Getting off the lift Skier

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    I don't think your Phoenix works as an an example since most of resort skiing is sitting in a chair and taking breaks and not really the same as sustained cardio.
    Even disregarding that, the premise of your example is wrong. There are plenty of cardiac problems and deaths on the ski slopes too but resorts don't really like to talk about those things, just like they don't put the clinic next to the kids ski school otherwise every mom would pull their kids from the slopes after seeing the carnage of a typical day.

    The heartattack stats don't typically get included in the US ski resort death stats but I googled and found this within the top hits exact warning with some stats from Alps where the study found 40% of fatalities on the slopes related to heart attacks
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/...or-risk-heart-attack-amateur-skiers-told.html
    and It was found that over half of the heart attacks occurred in the first two days and within two hours of hitting the slopes.



    another article.
    http://www.westword.com/news/at-lea...do-resorts-in-past-decade-report-says-8964183
    from this article: in just colorado in past decade: 137 deaths, but with 25+ heart attack deaths which aren't counted, and possibility of more uncounted.


    Regarding the season weekend warrior. The frequency of weekend warrior that descends actually will get a boost in acclimatizing after the first trip, the body at sea level will be able to rest and boost production much better than staying in the damaging and uncomfortable zone the whole time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  17. oldschoolskier

    oldschoolskier Out on the slopes Skier

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    Maybe I’m a little older than you (or more globally exposed) but it is not the first death of this kind I have read about under similar conditions, though different circumstances.

    @Monique makes a good point, your risk does increase with age, though being young does not necessarily reduce your risk either.
     
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  18. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

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    I don't know what the global statistics would be, but going up in altitude and exercising is not an unusual event. As I mentioned earlier, this type of altitude and climate change happens every weekend in the Phoenix valley with people heading into the higher lands for recreation. And it's not just skiing, but hiking, trail running, road bikes, mountain bikes, kayaks, horse riding and rock climbing. Some are more cardio intensive than others, but are similar to the circumstances of the OP. Humphreys Peak is at 12,500, and folks from the valley hike and run it every weekend. I'm sure there are many other similar circumstances around the country.

    In the case of the OP, I don't know how he died, but presume it wasn't from pulmonary or cerebral hemorrhage, which are the classic signs of altitude. So it seems most likely that his activities that day put enough of a strain on his body to expose an underlying weakness or condition. Not sure why this theory is causing such resistance, it is a medical scenario encountered daily. Perhaps the most well known being the "snow code", when people, apparently in good health have sudden cardiac death shoveling their driveways.

    When you have an uncommon outcome from a common experience, you have to consider secondary causes. That's all I said and I'm not sure when such a simple statement would meet with such resistance. Perhaps I'm too new to the group and haven't earned my right to have an opinion?
     
  19. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I actually think people are talking past each other a bit, and mostly agreeing. I'm sure a combination of factors played into it -- the question is, Would the same thing have happened had he been walking around the block at sea level? Maybe. But it is also highly likely that the level of exertion and altitude exacerbated whatever was going on already.
     
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  20. mdf

    mdf back to being an ordinary Gatheree Skier

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    Actually, I think the question is "would the same thing happen with similar intensity exercise at sea level?" Or walking around the block at altitude?
     
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