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honu
06-16-2005, 10:44
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) -- Mountaineers who ascend North America's loftiest peak are often brought down to earth by "virus-laden poo" left behind by previous climbers, a medical report says.

The unsanitary conditions created by piles of human feces on Mount McKinley can cause diarrhea among climbers, which can lead to widespread problems when combined with the physical stress of a mountain expedition, according to the report in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

Of 132 climbers interviewed on the 20,320-foot (6,200-meter) peak in the summer of 2002, more than a quarter reported having trouble with diarrhea, said the report, which was conducted by officials with the Alaska Division of Public Health.

At high altitudes and in cold temperatures, the authors said those troubles can be severe and potentially dangerous, leading to acute mountain sickness, hypothermia and fatigue-related accidents.

"They think they're going out on a pristine climb and there's virus-laden poo all around them," said Dr. Bradford Gessner, a mountaineer and one of the study's authors.

The researchers said other peaks around the world had similar sanitation troubles but they did not have data on the degree of the problem.

The study recommends a campaign to better educate climbers about hygiene and to impose stiffer penalties for breaches. Climbers also should use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or other antiseptic cleansers after defecating, use purification tablets for drinking water and avoid crowded sleeping arrangements.

Such steps also are appropriate in other well-traveled climbing routes, like Washington's Mount Rainier and on Himalayan peaks, they said.

The National Park Service already has started a clean-up campaign, including the distribution of devices called clean mountain cans to store feces for removal from the mountain, said Roger Robinson, lead mountaineering ranger for Denali National Park and Preserve, site of McKinley.

Because of the harsh conditions, piles of feces have accumulated at the mountain's crowded high camp, located at 17,200 feet (5,200 meters), Robinson said.

"It's just an ice pack up there. You really can't dig down and bury anything," he said.

Newb
06-16-2005, 15:26
That's just danged unfortunate. Sounds like they should put a bounty out for bags of mountain poo. That way people would have an incentive to pack all the frozen plague dooky down off the mountain...clean it up in no time.

sherrill
06-16-2005, 15:40
That's a load of crap. :D

(Can't believe no one went there yet)

gr8fulyankee
06-16-2005, 15:48
Don't eat the Brown snow!

stupe
06-17-2005, 14:18
I'm just glad I don't have to pack out all the s**t that I've posted on Whiteblaze.

Moon Monster
06-17-2005, 16:39
That's just danged unfortunate. Sounds like they should put a bounty out for bags of mountain poo. That way people would have an incentive to pack all the frozen plague dooky down off the mountain...clean it up in no time.

A bounty system has been used successfully to bring down spent O2 canisters from Everest.

Crazy Larry #1
06-17-2005, 18:35
is that some poo poo doo wha....or what?

Pencil Pusher
06-17-2005, 22:40
I'm just glad I don't have to pack out all the s**t that I've posted on Whiteblaze.
Me too;) Though for the summer of 2002 on Denali, I'd be willing to bet all the tea in China every man with a pulse would remember Dr Southhall before Gessner. She'd turn gay men straight.

stupe
06-18-2005, 18:16
Me too;) Though for the summer of 2002 on Denali, I'd be willing to bet all the tea in China every man with a pulse would remember Dr Southhall before Gessner. She'd turn gay men straight.

What? Do you mean she would improve their posture? Or, this thread being about poop, does she specialize in incontinence?

Pencil Pusher
06-18-2005, 21:33
Jah, she could improve my posture lickity split. That woman is hotter than a two dollar pistol.

This thread being about poo, Gessner was the doctor doing the study. My point was that folks would more remember the female doctor who was also there in 2002.

stupe
06-19-2005, 08:38
Oh, now I get it. Can she cook?

bogey
06-19-2005, 10:14
Oh, now I get it. Can she cook?
Who cares?:)