Elbrus Dragon 2008
This was a group of healthy volunteers from Swansea and Cardiff universities (including doctors and medical students) who planned to undergo simple non-invasive tests before, during and after an ascent of Mt Elbrus (5,642m) in order to assess the morphological, biochemical and metabolic factors predisposing to AMS. Prior to departure, all team members underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Trans Cranial Doppler (TCD) to determine their normal states: these were repeated following the expedition. The experiment was greatly assisted by the presence of a cable car that enabled the subjects to gain access to a hut at 3,800m without undertaking any ‘normal’ acclimatisation. Initially the weather was excellent, but it began to deteriorate as summit day approached, and the ascent had to be aborted at 4,900m. Nevertheless, very useful data was acquired, including from a number of iinevitable, but fortunately minor, medical problems experienced, including AMS.