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Deadly Ascent

Program Overview

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Mummy NOVA follows a team of climbers ascending Denali to try to solve the mystery of why extreme cold and high altitude can kill.

The program:

  • outlines the expedition's mission to monitor team members' physiological states as they trek to the mountain's peak, the highest in North America.

  • points out that each climber ingests a radio thermometer pill that continuously logs core body temperature.

  • reviews the environmental conditions on Denali, one of the coldest mountains on Earth.

  • relates an experiment that details what happens to core body temperature when a climber rests after a vigorous climb.

  • describes illnesses that can affect mountain climbers, including hypothermia, hyperthermia, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).

  • notes the results of one altitude study that revealed that the use of ginkgo reduced symptoms of AMS.

  • chronicles several rescue attempts undertaken to aid climbers in danger on the mountain.

  • relates how oxygen saturation levels are affected during a mountain climb and the problems that can occur when the levels get too low.

  • follows the team's progress as team members attempt to summit the mountain.

  • notes that scientists are coming closer to understanding the limits of survival in extremely cold, high-altitude environments.

Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after the program is taped off the air.

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Deadly Ascent
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