Hi -- I know this is an old thread, but just in case someone hits it fresh (as I just did), I thought I'd throw in a data point. I'm in the latter part of year 2 of an RA experience and diagnosis, currently under good control (inflammation and joint pain in fingers and toes down to nearly zero, no other symptoms) thanks to weekly MTX doses. (a big shout out to my rheumatologist at Kaiser!)
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area -- relatively dry, and quite at sea level. Just went over the long MLK weekend for a skiing trip to Lake Tahoe, for the first time since the RA diagnosis, where we were staying at about 5k feet and spending the days going up and down between there and 10k feet of elevation. Had a huge flare up -- worst pain (especially in my feet) I've had. And no, not from the impact of the snowboarding and its requisite boots . . . the situation worsened overnight each night, after 14 hours of rest from the board/boots, and it was as bad in my hands (unused in boarding, once you figure it out) as it was in my feet. By the third day there I was wondering if this is the end of skiing/boarding for me, which would be a bummer.
With just 24 hours back at sea level today, everything's back to normal. Not even any pain from the 15-mile fast bicycle commute to work this a.m. Go figure.