Home Categories Novel Corner Everest Epic

Chapter 19 Chapter 16 Use of Oxygen

Everest Epic 佛蘭西斯.楊赫斯本 2811Words 2023-02-05
There is some sort of excuse for the use of oxygen.How much is human capable of climbing to a height of 25,000 feet? We knew very little about it in 1922, so it might prove foolish not to use oxygen when it was available.However, the resultant use of oxygen has been a hindrance to the Everest expedition.Finch, besides Somerwell, was the main proponent of the first oxygen climb.The tragedy is that such an outstanding mountaineer, with all the experience and skill, the absolutely invincible will, and the ambition to win glory by climbing Mount Everest, is likely to be the one who climbed Mount Everest without oxygen .What led him astray was the belief held by the scientific community before the Everest expedition began: that it is impossible for humans to survive in the thin air at extremely high altitudes.So, as a man of science, it seemed silly to him not to use oxygen.With oxygen, if you can find a way to carry it up the mountain, you will surely be able to reach the top.At the same time, it seemed impossible to reach the summit without oxygen.We wanted to climb to the top in one fell swoop, so the obvious solution was to favor the use of oxygen.This is his line of thought.He is a scientist, he will apply his science, he will use oxygen.And according to his personality, once he decides to use oxygen, he will not hesitate about this idea, even though it has been proved that human beings can adapt quickly at an altitude of 23,000 feet.

What the expedition taught him was not the value of soil and water adaptation, but the value of oxygen.He compared the two successive altitude climbs, one was the anaerobic exercise on May 22, and the other was the aerobic exercise on May 27, and then strengthened his claim based on the results of the comparison.He said: After more than six hours of climbing, Malory, Norton and Somerwell reached an altitude of 26,985 feet, so since they left the high ground camp, they have done 1,985 feet of vertical ascent, Speed ​​330 feet per hour.The point where they turned back was about one and one-eighth of a mile horizontally and two thousand feet below the summit vertically.At 2:30 p.m., they began to return to the Highland Camp at 4:00 p.m. on the same route they had gone up, so they were descending at a rate of 1,320 feet an hour.Shortly after 4 o'clock, they embarked on the journey back to the North Col, accompanied by Moss Head, and reached the North Col at 11:30 in the evening; the downward speed was 270 feet per hour.He then described the situation when he met them early the next morning, as they walked back to the third camp: apparently in the final stages of exhaustion.

He compares his own oxygen climbing experience to this: at 6 a.m. on May 27, after two nights without a day's rest and suffering from acute hunger, he and Geoffrey G.The Bruce set out from their 25,500-foot camp with high hopes of summit success.Half an hour later, Taijibi fell to the ground.At 26,500 feet they turned back up the face of Everest and climbed 1,000 feet from camp in an hour and a half, or 900 feet an hour despite each carrying over forty pounds. rate of ascent.From here, they don't rise much vertically, but approach the summit steadily and consistently.Their final turning point was less than half a mile horizontally and about 1,700 vertical feet from the summit.The vertical height they achieved was only 300 feet higher than the anaerobic team, but they were twice as close to the summit as the anaerobic team.

Summarizing the results of these two climbs, he said: The first team camped at an altitude of 25,000 feet, stayed overnight, and finally arrived at an altitude of 26,985 feet, one and one-eighth miles from the summit. , and returned to the North Col without stopping for a while.The second team camped at an altitude of 25,500 feet, spent two nights and nearly two days there, and finally reached an elevation of 27,300 feet, less than half a mile from the summit, and returned without rest until Go to the third battalion.He also firmly stated that the weather experienced by the oxygen team was far worse than that experienced by the first team.

Therefore, he concluded: the disadvantages of artificial oxygen supply in terms of weight bearing are not worth the benefits it produces. This kind of argument has no reason and should be discarded.He then hypothesized that oxygen equipment would constitute the most important piece of equipment for a climber if there were to be any further attempts to climb Mount Everest. All of this may be entirely true.Climbers use oxygen to make sure they can reach the summit of Everest, if they can find enough bearers to carry not only tents and supplies, but also oxygen tanks, and the oxygen equipment does not go wrong at very high altitudes.Also, if there is not the slightest chance of climbing without oxygen, then oxygen should indeed be used.But the point is this: the 1922 expedition had already shown that it was possible to reach the summit without oxygen; and after taking into account the lack of overall conditions, lack of oxygen equipment, etc., the probability of success with or without oxygen was already Not much difference.Moreover, climbing Mount Everest, an extraordinary feat, would be far more valuable to accomplish without oxygen than with oxygen.To those in the scientific community, that would be a demonstration of the adaptability of the human body.Climbing without oxygen will bring ordinary people spiritual satisfaction that can never be compared with climbing with oxygen.

If the experience of the 1922 expedition has shown anything, it is this: Everest can be climbed with or without oxygen, but cannot be climbed between the two methods.One of these two methods must be chosen.A climber cannot do two things at once; he must concentrate on the climb.His plans must be simple. Furthermore, there are two considerations that conflict greatly with the oxygen theory.First point: a truly practical oxygen supply has not yet been invented.Second, and most important: Carrying oxygen tanks and supplies up the mountain necessitated the employment of many pickers who should have been hired to carry tents and supplies for climbers.The number of provocateurs is not unlimited.If one method requires fewer challenges than the other, it should be considered preferred.

Maybe there will be a team of enthusiastic scientists who are dedicated to teaching on-the-spot use of oxygen mountaineering to Mount Everest, carrying oxygen tubes and carrying heavy and cumbersome oxygen supply equipment all the way up the mountain, and finally sit on the summit and breathe oxygen there.But if anyone wants to know how much he can do on his own, he should come for himself.He might carry a bottle of oxygen for medical purposes, just as he might carry a bottle of brandy, but he would not depend on it.He is on his own, and all experience so far has shown that he is resilient enough to rely on.

At the end of the expedition, Somerwell said he felt pretty good at 27,000 feet.Since the pickers have brought heavy loads to 25,000 and 25,500 feet, there is a good chance that they will be induced to take at least a small tent to 27,000 feet.If that were possible, two climbers who had a very good start should be able to climb the remaining 2,000 feet without oxygen.If this were possible, the results would be far more pleasing, satisfying, and motivating than those achieved with oxygen.It will show that the high altitude effect alone does not necessarily prevent humans from climbing any other mountain in the world.

Oxygenians have a good reason to argue that if the last expedition had focused on oxygen climbing and only this strategy it would have succeeded in the ascent.Maybe it is.However, if this is the case, we will miss the valuable discovery that humans can adapt to high altitude soil and water.We will never know how far the limits of human beings can be stretched when they try their best.And when climbing a high mountain, we will rely more and more on external stimuli, and discard our own energy.We may never know we have that much potential.One branch of science may win, but all of humanity will lose an opportunity to understand itself.

However, these lessons, which we have not yet learned from the 1922 expedition, will have to be taught by the third expedition.We drift between trusting ourselves and trusting oxygen.We rely too much on what physics and chemistry can do, and too little on what we can do for ourselves.So the next expedition will still have an oxygen supply. But, as we'll see: it was a catastrophic mistake.It complicates the planning of the attack, while the planning of the ascent is above all necessary to be as simple as possible.Moreover, the number of provocative posts that could have been more efficiently used to deliver tents and food was also reduced.

However, this is nothing more than hindsight.At the moment, it seems foolish not to use oxygen, or at least have a backup.Until now, perhaps there are oxygen enthusiasts who will advocate the use of oxygen!
Press "Left Key ←" to return to the previous chapter; Press "Right Key →" to enter the next chapter; Press "Space Bar" to scroll down.