Harder than Winning Gold at the Olympics?

While we congratulate all the well deserving athletes for their win at the Olympics, there is an extreme sport that some believe is even harder. The challenge of the conquest of the highest mountain peaks in the world.

Now don’t race away in disgust, just stay for a few minutes longer. You may learn something interesting.

I weep tears of empathy when I see athletes commit to their utmost. After years of hard self-imposed discipline and self-denial, pain and perseverance, the athletes and viewers alike, find it nothing short of a tragedy to be pipped-at-the-post by a thousandth of a second. These hard working athletes deserve all the accolades they get.

However, some say to try and conquer one of the world’s highest https://scbarioz.fr/mountains is an even more demanding extreme sport. Once an athlete is standing on the podium, it is just a short jump down, to the post-Olympics parties with other athletes and friends.

Not so for the mountain climber. Once the climber has reached the summit the job is only half done?

Once the level of oxygen drops, the body system compensates. All climbers must go through this process if they want survive the long struggle to get to the top. It is known as altitude acclimatization. The heart rate increases, extra red blood cells are produced and non-essential body functions temporarily shut down. Breathing becomes deeper and more often. Food digestion efficiency decreases.

Altitude acclimatization can take up to a period of days or even weeks. Climbers by the dozen are forced to gather together for a period of up to two months, at the base camp on Mt. Everest, 16,000 feet above sea level. Anxiously they wait for their turn to begin their ascent. The results of not stopping to acclimatize are disastrous and deadly.