In 10 days the team trekked 40 miles and climbed 8,300 feet to the final Everest Base Camp altitude of 17,651 feet, where the barometric pressure is typically 400 mmHg (slightly higher than one half of the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level). Before commencing their descent a few of our team made the arduous climb to the top of Kala Pattar (altitude 18,192 ft). After 17 days at high altitude in the Khumbu Valley the Duke team returned to Kathmandu on April 21st to relax for a couple of days before flying home. The young lady who had developed high altitude cerebral edema was already there and had fully recovered.
In addition to participating in the studies organized by Xtreme Everest 2, the expedition provided a unique opportunity to observe firsthand the effects of chronic hypoxia and obtain nearly 3,500 hours of continuous blood oxygen saturation monitoring. This will provide new insight into the effects of decreases in oxygen saturation on performance under hypoxia.