Sunday, May 17, 2009

Deadly Ascent

In an exploration of extreme medical science, we ascend Alaska's Denali—aka Mt. McKinley—to try to solve the mystery of high-altitude deaths on one of the most dangerous mountains on Earth. This documentary chronicles daring mountain rescues and emergency medical evacuations as it accompanies an expedition team of researchers and experts employing the latest NASA technology to investigate the lethal diseases attacking climbers all over the world.

Each year, more than 1,000 people attempt to reach Denali's summit. Nearly half of those fail and several die trying—sliding off of icy cliffs, crushing bones against rocks, falling into hidden crevasses, or simply getting lost and succumbing to the cold. It's no secret—cold can kill . But why? Even some of the most physically fit and well-equipped climbers still die on Denali, debilitated by a strange and confounding sickness.

The producers of this documentary assembled a team of medical researchers, rescuers, world-class mountaineers, military special forces, and an astronaut taking part in a study by Dr. Peter Hackett, who turns the mountain's vertical arctic landscape into a high-altitude lab. Home to the highest medical rescue camp in the U.S., Denali offers a unique opportunity, since it's one of the few places on Earth where doctors can study humans in extreme conditions.

Click here to visit the official website of this documentary.

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