• Altitude Diver

Altitude Diver

Any time you are diving 1,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level, you're altitude diving and in West Texas we certainly fit that rule. If you plan on doing any diving west of Austin or Ft Worth the Altitude Diver Specialty course is for you. The fee for the course only covers the knowledge development, any required dives to  be logged are billed at $50 each.

Starting from

Availability: Contact us for booking information

Any diving in west Texas or New Mexico is at altitude. Lubbock sits at 3,202, Balmorhea at 3,196 feet and Santa Rosa NM at 4,616.

The Fun Part

Dive more challenging dive sites like the "Blue Hole" in Santa Rosa, NM while you satisfy your curiosity for “I wonder what’s down there?” The fun part about altitude diving is that you can explore places many people have never seen. There is the opportunity to discover preserved artifacts, see new varieties of underwater life, and simply get more logged dives.

What You Learn

You’ll learn the effects of pressure at higher altitudes and how to adjust your dive plan accordingly. Whether you use a recreational dive planner table (RDP), an electronic App or a dive computer, you’ll learn how to plan and make a dive at altitude. You’ll learn that a dive to 60 ft for 25 minutes at Santa Rosa NM is the same as a dive to 86 ft in the ocean and that just 10 minutes to the the 81 ft bottom at Santa Rosa NM is the same as a dive to 111 ft if you were at sea level, That your safety stop show be at 12 feet and not 15 like in the ocean. You will also learn:

  • Altitude dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards.
  • Recreational dive planning procedures for diving at altitude
  • Safety stops and emergency decompression procedures at altitude

Think of it this way, at sea level we learn that we are at a ATA of 1 and at 34 ft of fresh water we are at an ATA of 2. But, at an altitude of 5000 feet that ATA of 1 at sea level becomes just 0.832 of pressure and at 8,000 ft just 0.743. It is why we find it harder to breath at altitude. Therefor the gas loading our bodies take at 60 ft of depth will come out of our tissues (off-gas) at a faster rate, much like flying after diving. The nitrogen in the tissues leaves the bodies at a faster rate because the nitrogen in the air we breath at the surface is less than in our tissues. Therefor it is in the divers best interest to get to 30 ft of depth in their ascent at the fastest safest rate as our tissues will still be on-gasing at depth, even during the ascent the tissues are still being loaded with nitrogen during a slow ascent.

At Santa Rosa,NM doing your new Open Water training dives, the first two dives by standards, is not suppose to be more than 40 ft deep. To log the dive it must be at least 15 minutes in time. Most will do 20 minutes and, following standard planning tables, they will exit the water as a "E" assuming they entered as a "A". With a 1 hour surface interval they now do their second 40 ft dive for 20 minutes and leave the water as an "H." The third dive is limited by standards to 60 ft. Assuming at least a 1 hour surface interval was again taken our final dive of the day can only be 14 minutes and we will leave as a "G" (all of this does not take into consideration that most of these dives were multi-level and would have been more liberal). That is why when diving at altitude one truly should be diving with a dive computer that will compensate for the altirude as well as the temperature of the water in order to provide the diver with the most accurate of dive information. Routinely, our instructors will take at least a 2 hour surface interval before making the third dive as an added precaution to insure significant off-gas and permit a longer NDL than the 14 minutes for the final dive.

There are a lot of old standard rules still out there about adding 2 pressures groups for each 1,000 ft of altitude to dive at altitude and 12-24 hours of waiting time on arrival before making that first dive. Those rules were designed for divers flying say from Houston to Reno to dive. Driving from Houston (sea level) to Santa Rosa (4616 ft) would take more than 10 hours and our bodies would be ready to get wet after arriving, assembling our gear, getting our passes etc. The same would hold true for those divers heading home to Denver after diving at Santa Rosa. While they would ascent to a high pass over the mountains, the time out of the water disassembling gear, filling out log books and packing up, along with the time driving to get to the high pass etc. and there are no indications of DCS ever occurring in these folks, unlike getting in a plane that rapidly ascends.

There is so much more to learn as a diver in west Texas, so contact us to take the Altitude Specialty

Your Next Adventure

Chances are if you’re scuba diving up high in the mountains you may also want to be prepared with the Dry Suit Diver course.

For more information about this or other courses have a chat with one of the TEXAS DIVE CENTER Team members.

0 reviews for Altitude Diver

Write a review

Can't read? Reload