By Anna Woodman, medical student
Today the Swansea Wilderness Medicine Society will being leading a diverse team of thirty two adventurers to the highest peaks of the Andes. Our aims are to perform high quality research into high altitude, summit several demanding peaks and top it off with the worlds highest rugby match.
The research aims to elucidate the subtle differences between the male & female brain under the stresses of high altitude, some of the first research of its kind in the world. We have the fortunate pleasure of collaborating with world renowned high altitude physiologist Professor Damien Bailey of the University of Glamorgan.
It is thought that the female brain is better equipped to deal with a lack of oxygen and if proven could explain why women live longer.
All our expedition members have been put through their paces in the high altitude chamber at the University of Glamorgan to look for factors that may predispose individuals to getting sick at high altitude. In addition several outings into the harsh peaks of Snowdonia have been well used as a test of equipment, skills and determination.
The final goal of the expedition is the colossal peak of Nevado Sajama (6,542 metres). Once we have completed the intrepid task of ascending this majestic volcano we will enact the worlds highest Rugby match celebrating Welsh roots of this venture. We intend to use this spectacle as a charitable act to raise money and awareness for charity, by auctioning the ball upon our return.
The expedition is led by Miss Naomi Dodds, president of Swansea Wilderness Medicine Society, an experienced and enthusiastic leader of multiple expeditions with Leading Edge Expeditions Ltd.
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