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Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Xtreme Everest Trek - 2007

Adventure beckons

After much deliberation I have decided to try and get on the Xtreme Everest Trek for early 2007. I have telephoned the office to obtain a Booking Code, but have not had a reply as yet. I do hope they phone me back as I have always hankered after a true adventure, but have never had the confidence or wherewithal to attempt it until now. I have reached a point in my life where I don't intend to look back and say: 'I wish I'd done that'.

It is expensive though - some £2,395. Having said that it is for 23 days trekking. An interesting angle to this particular trek, is that it is being used to further medical research. Whilst acclimatising up to Everest Base Camp, various tests will be made on participants to measure the effect of altitude on the human body. I have always wanted my fitness to be tested in a challenging environment and this is one way for that to happen.

So will it all be worthwhile? I hope so... to be involved in this research will fulfil my 'putting something back into society' need, whilst the trek itself should satisfy my adventure 'craving' and my love of being in the mountains. All this would not be possible though without the love and understanding of my wonderful wife who has been dragged unwillingly over some inhospitable terrain in her time with me. I don't know what my kids will say, but at least my wife can breathe a sigh of relief that I will not be dragging her up the Himalayas!

Caudwell Xtreme Everest was a research project coordinated by the UCL Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme environment medicine (CASE) - doctors and scientists studying human systems were stretched to breaking point in extreme environments to increase the understanding of critically ill patients. The goal was to place a research team on the summit of Mount Everest in 2007 and make the first ever measurement of the level of oxygen in human blood at this altitude. This was the centrepiece of an extensive programme of research into hypoxia (low oxygen levels) and human performance at extreme altitude aimed at improving the care of the critically ill and other patients where hypoxia is a fundamental problem.

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