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
I would like to express my great thanks to those, who supported the study and the trip.
Within the faculty and division of sports science at Innsbruck I would like to especially thank vice dean Inge Werner and my mentor Martin Burtscher for making the excursion and master course possible. Of course a big thank has to been expressed to the chairman of the Division of Cardiologic Research at UH in Honolulu, Ralph Sohet, for putting up a symposium, which also helped to make the excursion a master course with presentations for the students and adding extrem more educational value. A big „thank you“ also to his boss, dean Jerris Hedges, who gave his ok and made all possible.
Thank has of course to be expressed to our sponsors, Blue Sub Rosenheim supported us with a value of 250€ and Blue Wilderness in Waikoloa with an equal reduction in rental fee.
Students were impressed by Blue Sub and it’s owner Marianne, with her authority on scuba gear, diving dicipline and cold water diving.
Dave and Denise and their team from Blue Wilderneess, located at Waikoloa’s Queens Market, are always helpful and try to fulfill even difficult customer needs. The often sublime arrogance, with which some Pro’s treat recreational divers in other dive shops, is a no go at Blue Wilderness. I was absolutely happy, when Blue Wilderness opened in Waikoloa, making it easy and relaxed to return dive tanks after dives at Kohala’s beautiful coasts. Their 25 tank card makes it easy at a great price for the avid diver to use great shore dive days with low swell or do a different activity on a day, when diving would be somewhat turning up and down your stomach (what is rare in December).
Finally George Kaimana, native and at least a quarter real Hawaian descent, showed us what real Hawaian hospitality means. George took the students and my folks stand up paddeling (if one becomes tired it should be renamed knee or sit paddeling) serveral times and showed us the Spinner Dolphins, Manta Rays and Whales near Kona harbour pier. It was great. We also have to thank George for gratious gifts, like coffee from his own coffee plantation and lunch invitations. George Kaimana grew up on a coffee plantation, but then took coffee farming to a academic level after visting college in Hawaii and courses at Cornel University’s Hawaian Educational program. He now manages coffee plantations not only in Hawaii but also in many other areas of the world. For this job he doesn’t have to travel much. Modern communication makes it possible to advise submanagers at other plantations to follow George’s advice via Skype or email accompanied by pictures and videos. If these activities aren‘ t filling his day, George works as life guard on Kona and Kohala beaches and he bodygards VIP’s. He can’t talk about his customers but gave us a hint that two German supermodels were among them. Well, I only know two and so I am guessing that Claudia and Heidi made it to Big Island meanwhile.
Pictures: Prof. Ralph Sohet, Marianne from Blue Sub, Blue Wilderness Store at Waikoloa, George Kaimana
Maike and I were stand-up paddeling with some dolphins today (about 20). A really nice local guy, George, took the lead and showed them to us at Kona Beach. We were paddeling with them for about 4 hours. Now preparing for the night on the mountain site in a tent, before it goes up again to the top of Mauna Kea in the morning :)
Today dr. Netzer and two students went to discover the northern part of our beautiful island.
First we stopped at a wonderful sandy beach an enjoyed the calm sea and the blue sky. With a stop in hawi we had a tipical hawaiian pulled pork sandwiche at a bbq wagon. A few miles later we were standing at the northest part of the Island and took the short walk down the trail. There we found a wonderful black lava sand beach between the cliffs. We were fascinated about the sudden change of the vegetation. Around our guest house is the dry vulcanic landscape and in the north we were sourounded by lots of trees and a rainforest like vegetation. We had a blast of the impressing environment so the rain which catched us did not change our mood at all.
We are glade to have such an opportunity to participate in such a research and enjoying big island hawaii.
A part of the master course is to use the intermediate deacclimatization between study legs on Mauna Kea for earning the Padi OWD with instructor Dr. Netzer (PADI OWI 955155). Physiology and medicine of scuba diving are also part of the course program titled “ understanding hypoxia from bottom to top“. Regular scuba diving theory will be extended by special medical, technical and psychology knowledge in an extra weekend in Innsbruck end of Jan 2015. Famous scuba diving journalist and long term „Tauchen“ EDIC Heinz Käsinger will be teaching on this weekend. The OWD course started already together with the normobaric simulation leg of the Mauna Kea hike in Bad Aibling. There, also between study legs, the pool sessions took place and the theory lessons together with the written test. Now, here on Big Island the free water dives took place at Mahukona and Honaunau. Two days ago every student had sucessfully finished its OWD. Now at Puako house nr 40 and at mile marker 4 in Kona the first free dives made a lot of fun with a close by swiming Manta and many turtles under water. Fun Scuba! Pictures show first free water dive at Mahukona and exercising the Cesar at Honaunau
On day 4 of our study group-master course excursion we started with the field study leg of our hypobaric-normobaric comparison study at Mauna Kea. The primary outcome parameter of our comparison between the hike to Mauna Kea summit in the field and simulated at the Hermann Buhl institute in Bad Aibling is the shape of the flow volume curve and the single breath to breath comparison in the ergospirometry. On the picture you see one of the subjects with the oxycon mobile at the start point of the hike near the Mauna Kea visitor center at 2800m altitude. The ergospirometry has been repeated in each of the six subjects at the summit at 4169m altitude after the standardised hike in six hours plus one hour breaks.
Secondary parameters are the oxygen saturation and heart rate as well as Lake Louise score at several time points during the hike.
The conditions on this first field day were unexpectedly tough with constant sunshine, no wind and unusual temperatures at all altitudes above 85degrees Fahrenheit respectively above 26-27 degrees celsius. This lead to unexpected electrolyte loss through more sweating than in the simulated hike.
Performing the ergospiro at the summit took until darkness with a beautiful sunset and clear view on the stars but temperatures dropping to 38 degrees F, 1-2 degrees Celsius.
We are thankful to a National Park UH Ranger who drove half of the group down to our second car before the last ergospiro at 7.07pm was finished.