Hey Donnie, nice to see you have found some time to finally get started on your project after a few months. Must have had a busy summer so far, good for you! Altitude should really have no appreciable effect on the mix(or any vertical mix really). When mixed properly you should be able to easily form up a wall in your large mixing pail with the mix and it holds nicely. It should go up on your scratch coated wall easily in large handfuls that very easily smooth out with your pool trowel. The troweled surface is creamy and smooth and will remain that way for some time. Three gallons of water is the upper limit when using the right mortar. That changes when using alternative mortar types as will the overall properties of the mix.
Give us a call tomorrow to go over specifics and we can get you in the right direction. Each pac is individually batched to avoid common large blender issues with vertical mixes so there is even a minute chance that something was off in your test bag. 1 of 3400 this season is a slight chance for sure!!!!
I would like to thank all for the comments and advice. Seems the problem was all me. I got this clarified by Don at Walt Tools. I used 80 pounds of mortar instead of 60. Sometimes am so stupid, please don't tell my wife I said that.
Again, to all who responded thank you. I am gonna go back and hit again and will post results soon.