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The ups and downs of high altitude mountaineering
  1. Damian Miles Bailey
  1. Senior Lecturer in Physiology, 1998 Mt Kanchenjunga Medical Expedition, c/o Hypoxia Research Unit, Health and Exercise Sciences Research Laboratory, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd CF37 1DL, UK

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    Editor,—Professor Craig Sharp delighted us with a recent account of his world record ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro in the 1960s and voiced his concerns about the physiological dangers inherent in such a feat;1 the madness and exuberance of youth! It is interesting to note that this record was established during the height of one of the most unforgettable debates in mountaineering history provoked by the initial uncertainties of Barcroft, Margaria, and Henderson, the possibility of an “oxygenless” ascent of Mt Everest. The epochal ascent without supplemental oxygen by Messner in 1978 subsequently put paid …

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