I'm wondering if anyone out there has experience doing high-altitude hiking with an older baby.
We're contemplating a trip to Colorado this summer, including climbing Mt Elbert - 14433ft. I've done the hike before and it is not technical at all - just an 8 hr slog up and back. DS will be 8 or 9 months when we go and I'm wondering how he'd do on the mountain. (DH would carry him in the Ergo.)
We live at about 4500 ft (in UT) and would travel slowly, gaining elev each day and spending a couple nights at about 10000 ft before doing the climb.
What do you think mamas? Anyone done something similar?
“...there are two ways to meet life; you may refuse to care until indifference becomes a habit, a defensive armor, and you are safe - but bored. Or you can care greatly, live greatly, until life breaks you on its wheel. ” - Dorothy Canfield Fisher
We live at 7200 ft in Colorado. I took DS up (driving) to the top of Mt. Evans when he was 10 weeks old. We did not go gradually, we drove, and I watched him very closely. He seemed a little spacey to me, but handled it well other than that. He's been up to 11k-12k feet several times since then (we haven't climbed any 14ers with him), and he's been just fine.
I think the same rules for adults apply: go slow (you plan to), climb high and sleep low (you plan to), make sure baby is hydrated - if you need a water break, baby needs a water/nurse/bottle break, and of course be attentive to his cues. Oh, and remember to pay close attention to sun protection for your babe - at 14k ft, you'll be nearly 2 miles closer to the sun than at home, in much thinner protective atmosphere. Consider sunscreen even if you don't normally do it, and reapply often.
I love hiking with the Ergo - it works very well. We also have a Deuter Kid II frame that DH wears for longer hikes... Your DH might consider if he'd prefer a frame. He might be warm in the Ergo with the baby right on him. I'd definitely prefer the Ergo for winter hiking.
Do you do much hiking with him at home? I think the biggest thing I'd be worried about is the logistics of a long trip, especially diapers. Have you been camping with baby? My DS has taken to camping very well after 5 nights so far. If you haven't, do some practice nights in your backyard, or in the frontcountry near your home so you can get some systems down.
I'd absolutely take an 8-9 month old on a 14er. I hope to take DS out to the mountains a bunch more next summer - he'll be 13-17 months. Get them into the outdoors early and often! Best of luck!
Wife to DH (8/1/09), Mom to DS (4/28/11) and DD (6/16/12).
We live in CO at about 7000 feet and hiked with our kiddos a ton when little. We always used a frame carrier ( http://www.toughtraveler.com/cat2.asp#blueluxstallion) but we usually had 2 kiddos (and then 2 kiddos + a walker) so it helped to carry all the "stuff" as well. How does your kiddo do in the carrier for long periods? We had on (the middle one, of course) who wasn't crazy about it because he wanted to walk; and yes, he was actually walking at the age your talking about.....
The cautions on altitude the pp mentioned are right on