A 7,000-meter-tall mountain — simulated in a laboratory | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 01.06.2018
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Science

A 7,000-meter-tall mountain — simulated in a laboratory

This mountain has no peaks and offers no beautiful views — it is located inside a research facility in Cologne. Two mountain climbers have volunteered to spend four weeks there, under extreme atmospheric conditions.

Ralf Dujmovits is the only German mountain climber who made it to all 14 mountains that are taller than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet).

Since mid-May, he and his wife — Canadian climber Nancy Hansen — have been living on top of a very special 7,000-meter-tall mountain: in an area of only 110 square meters and located in Cologne, Germany, not much above sea level.

DW-Sports journalist and passionate climber Stefan Nestler is covering the experiment of the two at the Envihab — a medical  research laboratory of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). 

Hypoxia study at the DLR in Cologne (Ralf Dujmovits)

Nancy Hansen being screened with ultrasound, while doctor wears an oxygen mask

The two mountain climbers are volunteering as guinea pigs in an experiment about hypoxia — a lack of oxygen that affects humans in high-lying areas or aboard planes (when air pressure cuts out).

Besides researching the harm hypoxia may cause, the Envihab doctors are also interested in finding out whether hypoxia or low air pressure can have any positive effects on the body.

Nestler tells the story in his blog Adventure Sport here: Two weeks on a quasi 7000er 

Here: Dujmovits: We are in good hands here 

And here: Prince and princess in the hypoxia chamber

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