At least one of CSTB’s irregular readers is a mountain climbing enthusiast, and if I wasn’t in awe of his courage before, I certainly am now. From Reuters.
Mountaineers who ascend North America’s loftiest peak are often brought down to earth by “virus-laden poo” left behind by previous climbers, a medical report says.
The unsanitary conditions created by piles of human feces on Mount McKinley can cause diarrhea among climbers, which can lead to widespread problems when combined with the physical stress of a mountain expedition, according to the report in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.
Of 132 climbers interviewed on the 20,320-foot (6,200-meter) peak in the summer of 2002, more than a quarter reported having trouble with diarrhea, said the report, which was conducted by officials with the Alaska Division of Public Health.
At high altitudes and in cold temperatures, the authors said those troubles can be severe and potentially dangerous, leading to acute mountain sickness, hypothermia and fatigue-related accidents.
“They think they’re going out on a pristine climb and there’s virus-laden poo all around them,” said Dr. Bradford Gessner, a mountaineer and one of the study’s authors.