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Ascent To Altitude From Santa Rosa

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by boulderjohn, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

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    If you drive west to Albuquerque on I40 you reach Clines Corners at a bit over 7000 feet after about an hour. Then you descend until you start the climb up the pass through the Sandia Mountains, where you also hit a bit over 7000 feet passing Sedillo, before descending into Albuquerque.
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Thanks Kevin--I did not realize there was an issue going west.
     
  3. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 Divemaster Candidate

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    As a recreational diver, who got OWC in Jamaica, this isn't something that I've ever thought about. But I'm expanding my training, and am about to go to Blue Hole for the first time, in 2 weeks...and many times after that. Thanks for the information, and its something that I'll have to give a lot of reading and thought to.
     
  4. Divedoggie

    Divedoggie Instructor, Scuba

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    It' continues to be a concern (nearly 100 times) since my very first Blue Hole trip in 1982.

    Cabin pressure in a commercial aircraft is regulated at the equivalent 4k - 7k feet. Comparatively, when we surface from a dive at 4300' elevation, it is the equivalent of instantaneously "flying after diving".

    At Blue Hole during our adjusted safety stop we are experiencing 18-20 psi ata pressure. When we surface (using 5000' elevation) the ata is 12.23 psi. How much pressure does it take for a micro bubble to grow significantly? Definitely less than the 6-8 psi hit we take upon surfacing from said dive.

    The drive as outlined by John takes us from 4500' to 7500' or on terms of ata, from 12.4psi to 11.1psi. This is certainly not insignificant if there are bubbles on the cusp of formation. However it is barely significant compared to the initial and instant exposure to 6 psi - 8 psi decrease.

    As BubbaJ suggests. Being as clean as possible at the end of the dive is of paramount importance, and most likely the most critical factor affecting the drive home.
    Doing paperwork, grabbing lunch, and taking some extra time before driving is smart. Getting home after 8pm isn't ideal, but getting home at 6pm with DCS is far less convenient.
     
  5. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    My problem is that I have no idea what it means to be clean after a dive.
     
  6. Birddog1911

    Birddog1911 Divemaster Candidate

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    Stop peeing in your wetsuit!

    J/K.
     
  7. Divedoggie

    Divedoggie Instructor, Scuba

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    I agree completely. No such thing. However, the idea of being as close to pressure group A after a dive would translate as "clean"....
    I think Bubba likes to use copious amounts of O2 to speed that process up.. :)
     
  8. EricTheDood

    EricTheDood DIR Practitioner

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    FIFY
     
  9. AlmightyApkallu

    AlmightyApkallu Nassau Grouper

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    I was going to create a new thread as I had several questions, but being as this one is so fresh and on topic I suppose I will ask here.

    I am planning on diving the blue hole here soon. I will be driving there from Phoenix, taking the I-17 to I-40 route. My "weekend" is Friday and Saturday as of right now. I have family in Albuquerque so I was planning to drive out after work on a Thursday, spend the night in Albuquerque, wake up Friday morning, drive over to Santa Rosa, dive Friday and either drive back to Albuquerque and spend another night on Friday or possibly drive all the way back to Phoenix.

    The highest altitude I have ever dived is about 900 feet at Lake Pleasant north of Phoenix and I have never flown right after diving, can some one give me a basic run down of what I should do or account for? I saw here that by going back to Albuquerque I will be hitting 7,000ish feet in Clines Corners and the Sandias. Should our safety stops be deeper? Longer? I will admit most of our diving has been off of computers so I'm not super familiar with analogue dive tables but I understand the principles of how they work.

    Also, is it a bad idea to take filled cylinders to altitude with me from Phoenix? I saw there is a dive shop there but that it is only open on the weekends or by appointment. How hard is it to get an appointment? Does anyone know how much they charge for cylinder rentals and air fills?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    If you are diving computers, and if your computers adjust to altitude, just follow the computers for the dive.

    As for returning and the ascent to altitude, I am not going to tell you what to do or even give advice. (As you might guess, liability might be attached.) I will, however, give you some facts so that you can make your own decision.
    • The altitude of Santa Rosa is 4,616 feet.
    • The altitude of Clines Corners is 7,057 feet, which is an increase in elevation of 2,441 feet.
    • According to DAN, an ascent to altitude of 2,000 feet is safe immediately after a dive. That means that, according to DAN, you should be safe to ascend to 6.616 feet immediately.
    • According to a private message I got from DAN, not all elevation gains are equal. Gaining 2,000 starting at sea level has a greater impact than ascending 2,000 feet when starting at a higher elevation.
    • The NOAA ascent to altitude table shows how long you need to stay at your altitude before ascending specific amounts after specific kinds of dives. If you are not trained on how to do those tables, you will not be very precise, but you can look at them and get a decent idea of how long staying at your altitude would be generally advised for an ascent that is about 400 feet greater than 2,000 feet.
    • When you leave Santa Rosa, you will have an immediate ascent of 500 feet, which should be very safe. You will then stay at that altitude for a while until you climb to the roughly 7,000 foot maximum. You can count that driving time as surface interval time.
    • Driving and gaining elevation gradually is different from making an immediate ascent in an airplane, so it is more like making a slow ascent while diving. This has not been studied, though,
     
    Birddog1911 and AlmightyApkallu like this.

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