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How high could a climber get above 29,000 feet?

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How high could a climber get above 29,000 feet?

Postby Big Benn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:13 am

I'm using the rounded height of Everest!

But supposing the highest mountain on earth had been a lot more than that.

What height would it have to be to make it unclimbable?

Or would some sort of specially adapted "space suit" have been developed specifically for climbers to make the top section climbable.

Gonna have to make assumptions about the terrain at the top of such a mountain. i.e not a very difficult technical section.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:58 am

Interesting question. With or without oxygen? Physiologist believed that it was impossible to climb Everest without oxygen because of the oxygen gradient (or lack thereof). Messner proved them wrong and they had to go back to the drawing board to explain that one.

A special pressure suit? If you allow for a pressure suit, then there is no limit theoretically. However, a pressure suit is severely restrictive and would be very impractical from a climbing perspective. Not to mention the restriction of circulation.

So with supplemental oxygen but without a pressure suit? Physiologically I don't have an answer. At some point you are going to have to transition from a free-flow system like those currently in use, to a demand system to conserve O2. At even higher elevations you will need to use a bi-phasic or continuous pressure delivery system (BiPAP or CPAP) that is very heavy with today's technology. Oxygen consumption rates with go through the roof at that point.

Perhaps practically the limit might be logistical rather than physiologic. At some point you would end up using so much oxygen just getting oxygen cylinders to higher camps that it is no longer worth the effort. I mean, if you've got to hump 2,000 oxygen cylinders up to Camp 32 at 58,000 feet for the summit bid, how many oxygen cylinders would you need to start with at base camp?
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Postby Big Benn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:33 am

I guess we should stick to no special suit, and using supplementary oxygen.

I have been under the impression that one key factor was the time spent in the "Death Zone" above circa 8,000m, (circa 26,250 feet).
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:14 pm

Bryan Benn wrote:I guess we should stick to no special suit, and using supplementary oxygen.


Damn, Joe Kittinger II "climbed" to 102,800 feet (31,300m) but he was using a special suit. Oh ya, I should also mention that he also "climbed" it in a balloon.

Image
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Postby harryquach » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:21 pm

Apparently this guy is going to try and jump from 120,000 ft. this year

http://www.redbullstratos.com/
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:37 pm

Practical application of these questions:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -mons.html

Well, practical application one of these days.
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Postby Big Benn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:25 pm

Arthur Digbee wrote:Practical application of these questions:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -mons.html

Well, practical application one of these days.


:D

Good one Arthur. But it isn't answering my original query. :cry:

Which I suppose can be re input as saying, when/how would Everest have been climbed if it was 35,000 feet high.
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Postby butitsadryheat » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:30 pm

Bryan,
This was posted in the thread about Shasta and the tragedy there. From what I saw (by skimming; hope I got it right), it basically says that Everest is about the limit. A good read.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/exposure/hackett.html
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:56 pm

If you drink Redbull, you can evidentially make it all the way to the Moon. I guess the high levels of caffeine increase diuresis, and that reduces the chances of cerebral edema, thereby allowing you to climb to extreme elevations. If only NASA had known about Redbull.
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Postby Big Benn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:18 pm

butitsadryheat wrote:Bryan,
This was posted in the thread about Shasta and the tragedy there. From what I saw (by skimming; hope I got it right), it basically says that Everest is about the limit. A good read.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/exposure/hackett.html


Many thanks.

Yes, that is a very good read and does give the view that Everest is probably at the limit of human endurance.
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Postby JackCarr » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:15 pm

Bryan Benn wrote:
Arthur Digbee wrote:Practical application of these questions:

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -mons.html

Well, practical application one of these days.


:D

Good one Arthur. But it isn't answering my original query. :cry:

Which I suppose can be re input as saying, when/how would Everest have been climbed if it was 35,000 feet high.


Everest is getting higher not lower! Obviously the difference in our lives will only be in inches or less, but assuming humans continue to want to climb the highest mountain on earth, then it may one day get to a height impossible for humans.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:40 pm

Bryan Benn wrote:
butitsadryheat wrote:Bryan,
This was posted in the thread about Shasta and the tragedy there. From what I saw (by skimming; hope I got it right), it basically says that Everest is about the limit. A good read.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/exposure/hackett.html


Many thanks.

Yes, that is a very good read and does give the view that Everest is probably at the limit of human endurance.


If history has taught us anything there doesn't seem to be a limit for human endurance. Every year people are pushing the boundaries further and further. If Everest were 35,000 feet someone would eventually get to the top, probably with improved oxygen gear. Then someone would come along and do it without oxygen and us mere mortals would once again be amazed.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:41 pm

Bryan Benn wrote:
butitsadryheat wrote:Bryan,
This was posted in the thread about Shasta and the tragedy there. From what I saw (by skimming; hope I got it right), it basically says that Everest is about the limit. A good read.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/everest/exposure/hackett.html


Many thanks.

Yes, that is a very good read and does give the view that Everest is probably at the limit of human endurance.


If history has taught us anything there doesn't seem to be a limit for human endurance. Every year people are pushing the boundaries further and further. If Everest were 35,000 feet someone would eventually get to the top, probably with improved oxygen gear. Then someone would come along and do it without oxygen and us mere mortals would once again be amazed.
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Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:25 pm

Brad Marshall wrote:If history has taught us anything there doesn't seem to be a limit for human endurance. Every year people are pushing the boundaries further and further. If Everest were 35,000 feet someone would eventually get to the top, probably with improved oxygen gear. Then someone would come along and do it without oxygen and us mere mortals would once again be amazed.


I'm inclined to agree with that.

But there's an upper limit somewhere. Olympus Mons, for one.
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So

Postby Jeroen Vels » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:36 pm

drop the bottle and start climbing like a man!

How high would one get? That's the question. With "aid" like supplemental oxigen anything is possible. But try to stick what is humanly possible. Much more interesting and "honest".

Then I think it would be (really) hard to climb over 9000 meters and survive. But people have lived through 2 bivouacs above 8000 meters, so I guess we would be surprised by what humans are capable off.

I heard Everest is still growing, so go for it!
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