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  Everest 2006: Fi and Paul: Learning how to use the new oxygen system


Location: Everest Base Camp
Altitude: 5350m
Local Time: 17:30, May 2
Weather: Fine in the morning, overcast in the afternoon. min -5C, max 12C

Hi it's Paul here,

Today was spent seeing off the injured Italian climber and learning how to use the oxygen gear.

Italian climber leaves base camp
This morning was clear and there was almost no wind, so the helicopter was able to come, land and pick up the injured Italian climber. Overnight the climber's condition improved, so he was able to walk from the medical clinic to the helicopter pad. Fiona and I had our radios on early in the morning and the HRA was going to call if they needed assistance carrying the stretcher. Fortunately the call came through at about 6am, that everything was OK and we weren't needed. We went and watched the helicopter land, and this was a pretty impressive sight; seeing such a large machine maneuver onto the pad, pickup the climber and quickly take off again.

Trying out the oxygen system
After breakfast we all went to the communications tent and were issued with our own oxygen masks. These masks are the new TopOut masks that IMG purchased earlier in the year. We have also been given an LSE mask, which is a tried and true mask that we will carry as a backup. The TopOut masks fit our faces very well, in fact there is no discernable leaking at all. This is very important, as leaking oxygen is not only wasteful, but it causes your goggles to fog up. These masks have a bottle hanging down in which the oxygen fills when you are exhaling. This oxygen is available all at once at the start of your inhalation cycle and goes deep into your lungs. We also learnt the correct procedure for changing over a bottle and practiced this several times. There were several bottles that we were able to connect up to and feel the effect of different flow rates. Sitting here at base camp acclimatised as we are, and not working at all, it wasn't possible to feel the effect of the oxygen. I am sure that up higher this won't be the case. IMG uses their own oxygen bottles, which are much bigger and heavier than the Poisk system used by almost everyone else. However, our bottles hold 1800 litres of oxygen (more than the other systems) and we will need only two on the summit day. With Poisk you would need 5, which means more changes. Our bottles weigh 7kg, compared with about half that for Poisk, so this is the disadvantage. But I think that 7kg isn't too much to have to carry.

That’s all for now,
Paul.

Updates

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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