VAIL — On Thursday evening, the Vail Vitality Center welcomes local geographer, author and mountaineer Jon Kedrowski, Ph.D., for a lecture and discussion about what happens to the body and mind at high altitude. He’ll follow with a suggested training program designed to help climbers prepare for expeditions of all sizes.
Kedrowski’s presentation approaches altitude from a medical standpoint, discussing critical medical issues, such as High Altitude Cerebral Edema and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. He also will detail the importance of acclimatization and what happens to the body in the “death zone” (above 8,000 meters), including increased red blood cell production and altitude-induced cachexia (loss of body weight during very high altitude ascents).
Personal accounts of rescues above Basecamp on Mount Everest and critical Death Zone situations provide participants with a glimpse into Kedrowski’s experiences as a mountaineer and make for a captivating presentation.
Kedrowski also provides aspiring climbers with a training program for success on expeditions or shorter local treks on Colorado’s many spectacular peaks.
“In order to be successful in mountains and in life, you’ve got to accept and embrace being uncomfortable on some level,” Kedrowski said. “Understanding the body at altitude and learning how to train for the rigors of high mountains can offset some of the suffering, the rest is up to the strength of the mind.”
Kedrowski lives in Vail. He has a doctorate degree in environmental geography from Texas State University. He is a television consultant for KDVR FOX 31 Denver and has worked on recent projects with CNN and Dateline NBC. He is a former professor at Central Washington University and completed a large-scale consulting project with National Geographic — with a movie called “The Wildest Dream” involving Mount Everest — in 2010. When he isn’t hard at work on consulting projects or training in Colorado’s backcountry, he can be found climbing the world’s highest mountains, including four of the world’s seven continental summits: Elbrus (Russia, 2005); Denali (Alaska, 2009); Aconcagua (Argentina, 2010); and Everest (Nepal, May 2012). His story about the 2012 Mount Everest expedition has been chronicled extensively as he was witness to and survived the worst tragedy on that mountain since the 1996 disaster. Kedrowski also has summited Mount Rainier 14 times (between 2008 and 2011), and he became the first person to spend the night atop all of Colorado’s Fourteeners (peaks over 14,000 feet). He achieved the feat in just 95 days between June 23 and Sept. 28, 2011. His best-selling book — “Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado Fourteener High Bivys” — will be available at the lecture. More information at www.jonkeverest.org/About-Jon-Kedrowski.html.
“In order to be successful in mountains and in life, you’ve got to accept and embrace being uncomfortable on some level.”
Local geographer, author and mountaineer