Xtreme Alps ? Sea Level Testing
Members of the Xtreme Alps team met last weekend to commence the sea level testing prior to our ascent to the Margherita Hut. With 13 participants to test and many projects to take part in, it promised to be a very busy weekend!
Subjects began their morning by undergoing a basal metabolic rate test, followed by the demanding Cardio-pulmonary Exercise test (CPEX). Throughout the CPEX test subjects were asked to cycle on an exercise bike for 40 minutes whilst undergoing a metabolic efficiency test. They were then asked to complete a challenging ramp test, in which subjects began cycling at 0 watts and continued to cycle at a steady state whilst the resistance of the bike was gradually increased. This continues to exhaustion, at which point the subjects are rewarded with some well deserved lunch!
Other investigations included strain-guage plethysmography carried out by Dr Martin Feelisch, tissue oxygenation research and trans-cranial doppler studies carried out by Dr Chris Imray and Dr Mark Edsell. Urine and blood analysis, exercise and diary studies and microcirculation analysis using an SDF camera were also carried out over the two days.
The weekend ended with Dr Mark Edsell bravely participating in an oxygen extraction study in which a central line and an arterial line were inserted by Dr Dan Martin. Dr Edsell then carried out a metabolic efficiency test on the bike, followed by a gruelling ramp test throughout which bloods were taken from him repeatedly by other members of the team.
The weekend provided a fantastic opportunity for investigators and subjects alike to learn about different pieces of equipment and begin to master some of the skills which will be required when we are at the Margherita Hut. Many of the subjects and investigators are meeting again next weekend (17th-18th July) to complete the sea level testing.
Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable weekend and, with less than a month to go before we begin our ascent in the Alps, the excitement is mounting!
CLICK HERE FOR SEA LEVEL TESTING PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY
Story by Ali Cobb