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The Brit's innovative oxygen system works!
11:03 a.m. EDT May 14, 2003
The UK Royal Marines Sherpas successfully tested their revolutionary oxygen system at an altitude of 8300m. Gone is the bulky face mask that hinders vision, makes goggles fog up, and all but eliminates a climbers ability to speak and even see their own feet.

The British system uses a thin, rubber hose that hooks behind the ears and passes underneath a climber’s nose. Two little tubes stick out and go directly into the nostril and pipe the oxygen in. It looks very similar to how patients in hospitals are given oxygen.

This new system allows for a climber to drink, see, and talk – all while getting the necessary O2’s to the brain. A system like this has yet to be tried on Everest.

The UK team is currently in base camp and waiting for a weather window to make their final summit push

At the upper reaches of Everest climbers need supplementary oxygen to survive and climb in the oxygen starved air above 8000m. Some climber are, however, able to do Everest without O2’s. Supplementary oxygen is big business on Everest with systems costing thousands of dollars and unsavory characters making a business of selling cheaper imitation systems to unsuspecting teams. Currently a Russian company, Poisk, is the leading supplier of oxygen on Everest. Their system was original designed for the Russian Air Force and is rigorously tested.


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