Higher Up The Mountain


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How does elevation affect temperature?

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Is there a simple way to estimate the summit temperature if I know the temperature at the base? In mathematical speak that is 9. I know. And now for the nerdy science part. Atmospheric pressure is simply the weight of the air pushing down on you from above. As you increase in elevation, there is less air above you thus the pressure decreases.

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As the pressure decreases, air molecules spread out further i. But will it be warm enough down there? Of course! Just remember that temperature changes 5. By subscribing you agree to our terms and conditions. What Makes Snow Fall? Does Elevation Affect Temperature? What is the Jet Stream? How Do Weather Models Work? How Does Radar Work?

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Resorts Snow Reports Top Snowfall 18". Snowiest Regions Alberta. The breathlessness will progress and soon they will be breathless even at rest. Heart rate may be fast, the lips may turn blue and body temperature may be elevated. It is easy to confuse symptoms of HAPE with a chest infection, but at altitude HAPE must be suspected and the affected individual must be evacuated to a lower altitude. Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to predict who will get HAPE.

This is one of the reasons why we have established the HAPE database. People who have had HAPE before are much more likely to get it again.

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Therefore, there must be some factor that puts certain individuals at high risk of the condition. However, just like acute mountain sickness, there are some known risk factors. A fast rate of ascent and the altitude attained will make HAPE more likely. Vigorous exercise is also thought to make HAPE more likely and anecdotal evidence suggests that people with chest infections or symptoms of the common cold before ascent may be at higher risk.

The most important treatment for HAPE is descent. Some drugs can be helpful, but should only be used by trained doctors. Nifedipine is a drug that helps to open up the blood vessels in the lungs. By doing so, it reduces the high pressure in those vessels that is forcing fluid out into the lungs. Following recent research, medics may also give the steroid, dexamethasone. Drug treatment should only ever be used as a temporary measure; the best treatment is descent. Despite years of careful research the exact causes of HAPE remain poorly understood.

Fluid has been shown to fill up the air pockets in the lungs preventing oxygen getting into the blood and causing the vicious circle of events that can kill people with HAPE. As with many biological processes many factors play a role in the disease and there is good evidence to support a number of theories about how this fluid gets there. Normally, oxygen gets into your blood and is supplied to the body from your lungs.

Each time you take a breath in, air rushes into the tiny air pockets at the end of all the airway branches in your lungs. At the same time, blood from your heart is brought close to these thin-walled air pockets, so that oxygen can move into your blood while waste products move out. Oxygen-rich blood then returns to the heart and is supplied to the body. If, by accident, you inhaled a small object into your lungs, it would become stuck in one of the airways branches.

Little oxygen would get to the downstream air pockets.

To prevent this area of lung supplying blood starved of oxygen back to the heart and therefore the rest of body , blood vessels in the area closed down or constrict. This is normally a very good thing and is an example of the body protecting itself. At altitude however, this same process is a cause of the disease HAPE.

Because the whole lung is starved of oxygen, the whole lung reacts in the same way — blood vessels constricting all over the place and not just in small areas. The blood in these vessels is squeezed and the pressure goes up forcing fluid out of blood and into air pockets. Very dangerous and reactive substances are formed in your blood when you are starved of oxygen and these can directly damage the special membrane between air and blood in your lungs causing further fluid leak and worsening HAPE. HACE is a build-up of fluid in the brain. HACE is life-threatening and requires urgent action.

HACE is thought to be a severe form of acute mountain sickness. A severe headache, vomiting and lethargy will progress to unsteadiness, confusion, drowsiness and ultimately coma. HACE can kill in only a few hours. A person with HACE will find it difficult to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line — this is a useful test to perform in someone with severe symptoms of acute mountain sickness.

HACE should also be suspected if a companion starts to behave irrationally or bizarrely. The lowest altitude at which a case of HACE has been reported was m. The faster the rate of ascent and the higher the altitude, the more likely it is that HACE will develop.

HACE is thought to occur mainly in trekkers or climbers who have ignored symptoms of acute mountain sickness and climbed higher rather than staying at the same altitude or descending. A Gamow bag, or portable altitude chamber, can be used as a temporary measure and, if available, oxygen and a drug called dexamethasone should be given. The cause of HACE remains unknown.

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Several factors may play a role including increased blood flow to the brain. An increase in blood flow is a normal response to low oxygen levels as the body needs to maintain a constant supply of oxygen to the brain. However, if the blood vessels in the brain are damaged, fluid may leak out and result in HACE. High altitude cerebral oedema.

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HAMB ; 5 2 Poor sleep is common at high altitude. Climbers commonly report vivid dreams, feelings of being suffocated and wake feeling unrefreshed. However, there are important changes in the way we sleep at altitude that makes sleep quality poor. Sleep can be divided into stages that are defined by the pattern of electrical activity in the brain and eye movement.

Deeper stages of sleep and rapid eye movement REM sleep are reduced at altitude, therefore more of the night will be spent as light sleep and sleep quality will not be as good as at sea level. Periodic breathing Cheyne Stokes breathing, or PB is common at high altitude and becomes more frequent with increasing altitude.

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