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Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Thirty-three: April 25th, 2009

Day Thirty-three: Blood Tests in Manaslu Base Camp

Today, after opting to wait till tomorrow to start up and go directly to Camp II, I headed up to the empty mess tent for breakfast, somewhat lethargic from last nightís poor sleep. The wind had been noisily thrashing around the loosely guyed-out tents of base camp, making falling and staying asleep nearly impossible. After this, I headed down to the Spanish Base Camp. One of the doctors staying in Carlos Paunerís base camp was conducting a study comparing the blood chemistry in climbers before and after our summit bids. Generally, after acclimating, our blood contains more hemoglobin which transports oxygen to all our vital organs as well as higher Hematocrit levels. We also were tested for blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure. My O2 sat level was at 92%; remarkably high for living one month at 5000 meters and above (most of the othersí were in the low 80ís). My Hematocrit level was 56% (the normal range is 39%-48%; mine was the highest of the group) and hemoglobin was 19.0g/dL (normal range being 13-16g/dL). All the figures indicated that I was very well acclimatized and physiologically prepared for my summit attempt. Reassured that science had confirmed what my body had told me at higher camps, I headed back to my base camp t work on my now horrid tent platform. All the shovels were in high camps so I used a plate to fill in the holes in the platform with snow.

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