Poor sleep is probably one of the most prevalent complaints in people staying at base camp, with many of us waking gasping for breath. This phenomenon is precisely that the French group is investigating. Their investigations may indeed challenge the long held belief that these gasping episodes may not mean bad acclimatisation to high altitude as traditionally believed. As with all the research much meticulous analysis will need to be completed once the researchers return home before recommendations can be made to improve those people travelling and working at altitude. For example, the jury is out on the Bangor research that seeks to determine whether fitness is important for good health and performance at altitude. At least presently everyone is in fantastic sprits at basecamp.
One early exciting observation from the French team is that using a specific mask with added resistance seems to improve tolerance to high altitude. Indeed, the mask demonstrated great ability to improve altitude symptoms in one of our trekkers and help him return to lower altitude in good condition (Please see the photo of the fantastic mask).
Alongside our research with trekkers we are also completing research with other trekkers and their porters that will improve their working conditions. These local people really are superheroes carrying loads at least twice typical trekkers loads seemingly effortlessly while we huff and puff our way up the trail. They really deserve huge plaudits for their work. Indeed, without our super Sherpa and porters we wouldn't have been able to complete any of our research. Therefore, alongside Porters Progress UK, we are passionately pursuing research that improves these peoples working conditions.
Love to family and friends that are following us.
Sam on behalf of the researchers
Ps. Please see the photo of researchers Arlena and Ben with a trekker examining the importance of posture on arterial oxygen saturation.