Our first message from research team leader, Mayo investigator Bruce Johnson, Ph.D.
All good, have the lab set up and looks really good. Last night my O2 sats (saturation) were 74, which makes my PaO2 about in the 40′s… much lower than you would ever allow a patient to get. We are sleeping on a glacier very near the icefalls and thus you can hear the ice cracking during the night and avalanches around us with the occasional spray into base camp. Day temps are in the 40′s or a little higher and night temps close to 5 or 10 above. Everything freezes at night and usually there is a little snow in the late afternoon with sunny still mornings. We are now linked with the Montana State crew and will add one or two of them to our study. Our goal will be daily testing now and amazingly our cylinders made it up on the back of a porter even though it was a struggle getting them through customs and we left before they did. The porters got them up here in 3 days (large gas cylinders with our diffusion mix in them). The team seems pretty healthy and we will be doing some side one-hour treks for The North Face to test some of their prototype equipment to fill in any gaps. However we estimate that the testing will take 6-7 hours a day, which does not include set up, analysis, and data storage. The athletes are all gone at the present time, acclimatizing to higher camps, but will be back to go through testing 2 times and get instrumented hopefully for their summit attempt.