Borm, Nicholas, Jon D. Van Roo, Carlos Pesce, D. Mark Courtney, Sanjeev Malik, and Matthew P. Lazio. Prior altitude experience of climbers attempting to summit Aconcagua. High Alt. Med. Biol. 12:387-391.-Aconcagua (6962 m) is one of the seven summits and the highest mountain outside of Asia. Climbers of varying experience are drawn to its nontechnical route. Our objective was to detail the prior altitude experience of climbers attempting to summit Aconcagua. We asked all climbers on the normal route of Aconcagua to complete questionnaires with demographics and prior high altitude experience while acclimatizing at Plaza de Mulas base camp during 9 nonconsecutive days in January 2009. 127 volunteers from 22 countries were enrolled. Mean age was 39.8 years and 88.2% were male. Median altitude at place of residence was 200 m (IQR: 30, 700). Median previous maximum altitude reached was 5895 m (IQR: 5365, 6150). 7.1% of climbers had never been above 4000 m. Median previous maximum sleeping altitude was 4800 m (IQR: 4300, 5486). 12.6% of climbers had never slept above 4000 m. Climbers who performed acclimatization treks spent a mean of 3.6 (2.5, 4.7) days at>3000 m in the previous 2 months. However, 50.4% of climbers performed no acclimatization treks. Although the majority of mountaineers who attempt Aconcagua have prior high altitude experience, a substantial minority has never been above 4000 m.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health