By 7,500 metres, the bearded sample showed, on average, a 7.3% rise in ORI compared to the clean-shaven mountaineers, by 8,000 metres, the gap had grown to 10.7% and on the summit, bearded climbers were processing oxygen almost 15% more efficiently, a differential which could mean the difference between life and death in Everest's harsh climate.So apparently, there is a positive effect of allowing your beard to grow out while on a mountain. Since the subjects of the study were encouraged to grow or not grow facial hair, the potential for chicken/egg effect was diminished. In this case you would be left wondering:
- A) do climbers who allow their beards to grow become more efficient at utilizing oxygen?
- B) are climbers who are better at utilizing oxygen naturally more inclined to let their facial hair grow?
Letting my beard grow for the cause
|Trail running at 9,600' with facial hair for better oxygen utilization|
I have to say that on every one of my speed runs on a Colorado 14'er I have been a bit on the shaggy side. I have also had great success on Kilimanjaro, Orizaba, and Carstensz with a fair amount of facial hair. Based on my own anecdotal evidence, I suspect there is something to this theory. I hope to hear more positive mountaineering results obtained from other lapses in hygiene...
|Resting in the tent to allow the best possible facial hair growth|