Modern science, modern ideas about climbing and trekking, proven wisdom from the last 100 years of high altitude travel

Learn more:


Listen to my interview with Kerry Miller of Minnesota Public Radio on altitude, climbing, and the 2008 K2 tragedy.



Useful Links:


broad peak

Reaching Camp 2.5 (6700m) on Broad Peak, Pakistan (click)


TAE cover

Why write this book?


In 2004 I came to a complete stop, early on a sunny day, just 100 vertical meters shy of the summit of Broad Peak (8047m). Besides missing the summit, I wanted to know why I flamed out. I wasn't altitude sick, I'd climbed higher before–what was the problem? Likely, dehydration from several days of under-hydrating.


But this got me thinking. While there were many excellent books on altitude illness, there really wasn't a good reference on high altitude performance. By this, I mean 'how can you reach your performance goals given the obstacle of high altitude?' Your goal may be to take your kids on a hike and get back to the car before dark, or to solo a major Himalaya climb; both require a certain level of performance.


Books such as Mark Twight's Extreme Alpinism deal mostly with training and technical aspects of climbing.


Books on altitude medicine help determine who is sick, then determine the proper treatment.


The Altitude Experience is for those who do not have altitude illness and wish to be safer/faster/stronger/smarter while traveling at altitude.


I do cover altitude illness and cold/heat injury, but my book is not meant to replace other books by medical professionals that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of altitude illness.


What's in the book?


Here are the main themes that run throughout the book:


How to use the book


This book is designed to be useful at several levels. Some chapters are filled with 'how-to' advice, some contain a lot of science and can be tricky to understand. So here are some tips for the average reader: