The last of the planned four study legs has not been performed. This is fortunately not harming the outcome of the main parameters of the study protocol: 1. Comparison of shape of flow volume curve in normobaric and hypobaric hypoxia. 2. Comparison of VO2max ml/kg 3. Comparison of SaO2 values and Lake Louise Score during hike (hypobaric) and simulated hike (normobaric), because all measurements already worked fine on the third leg (hypobaric hike on Mauna Kea). The last leg was to prove if an overnight stay at a moderate altitude of 2000-2800m would change outcome on some of the parameters based on a new theory that already a few hours at moderate altitude deliver enough acclimatization.
After the third leg there was some argueing with administrative officials of the Mauna Kea UH administration due to a ranger intervention transporting three study volounteers down from summit to our second parked car at the visitor center, because they seemed mountain sick. Therefore Mauna Kea UH administration did not allow us to stay overnight near the visitor center at 2800m and the state park camp site at 2200m was closed. A plan B to stay at 2200m at a parking spot near the start of the road to the Mauna Loa weather observatory, first agreed on by all participants, failed because three study members did not volounteer on the actual day and performing the leg with just three volounteers wouldn’t have made sense. N.Netzer
Picture: Students at 3200m on Humuula trail on third study leg. Mauna Loa in the background