This topic came to my mind recently, when I came across of case of sudden death of amateur mountaineer with good Marathon & IRONMAN results on one of the high camps (5400m).
I also have read cases when elite sportsmen actually suffer when going to high mountains.
It was very interesting to me what could be a reason, so here is the theory which is I am curous about.
1. When the elite Ironman/triathlon sportsmen is starting the routine acclimatization his body react to the altitude elevation as Training adjusting the heart-rate, i.e. body does not respond the stress, lack of oxygen by starting to “acclimatize”, instead, the body switching on the day-to-day habit of responding to it as a tough training. Usually, such athletes feel great o first acclimatization days, in contrary averagely trained person, started to feel the stress and the body starting to produce hemoglobin, adjusting to the altitude.
2. In the middle of acclimatization sportsmen’s body not able to compensate the lack of oxygen by heart output, which often leads to rapid deterioration – HACE , HAPE or other symptoms. (usually, this happens on one of the high camps). WHile the less trained person by that time fully adjusted and getting to his optimal performance.
Do you think this might be true? I need to notice that this behaviour usually applies for Elite Athletes, who might have trained almost everyday and not very experienced in Mountaineering (not exposed to high altitude).