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Climbing Everest

Climbing Everest

It’s almost impossible to imagine the immense physical and psychological challenge of climbing to the top of 29,029-foot Mount Everest.

Even at Base Camp, at 17,600 feet, there's about 50 percent of the oxygen in the air as there is at sea level.

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During exposure to frigid temperatures like those on Everest, you can suffer from frostbite.

If you ascend without proper acclimatization, at around 9,000 feet, your lungs may begin to swell because the blood vessels constrict. Symptoms include a persistent cough and labored breathing.

As you climb, less oxygen in your blood means less oxygen in your brain.

In order to supply your body with enough oxygen to maintain functioning, your heart must work harder. You will have an increased heart rate and greater force per beat. Your body creates more oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which is generally helpful.

Due to a lack of oxygen in the intestines, digestion slows down. As a result, 81 percent of mountaineers experience nausea or vomiting. 

At high altitudes, the low oxygen can cause spasms in the arteries that supply blood for your sight, causing transient blindness in some climbers.

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