The infinite complexity and vast mysteries of the human brain have held captive my focus and fascination over the past 6 years of graduate studies. Now, in the fourth year of my PhD in exercise physiology I have the opportunity to explore the brain in a way that I would never have imagined when I entered the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s in 2010.
On April 30th 2016 I will embark on a research trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp with a team of 22 researchers and research subjects from Mount Royal University and University of British Columbia (Okanagan and Victoria). The overall purpose of the trek is to examine various physiological responses to high altitude, with my specific study examining how exercise performed at high altitude affects complex brain functions (details here).
We arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal on May 2nd and will commence our low altitude measures. Given that our group is composed of people who are flying into Nepal from all over the globe (Ireland, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, USA), our time in Kathmandu will also provide an opportunity for some team bonding.
On May 5th we fly from Kathmandu to the small mountain village of Lukla via the Hillary-Tenzing airport, one of the most extreme airports in the world. Lukla marks the beginning of our 10-day 62 km hike into the Everest region of the Himalayas where we will ascend from 2840 m (9317 ft) to base camp at 5360 m (17,858 ft).
Despite its remoteness the Everest region is a popular tourist destination and most villages that we stay in will have amenities like power and Internet. As such, I will be regularly updating this blog with stories and pictures from the trek.
Please contribute below with comments, questions, and/or suggestions related to the trek or science that we’ll be exploring!