Coronavirus in mountaineering

May 6, 2021

It was only a matter of time…

As I have discussed in countless posts and columns, the nature of wilderness travel (close quarters, sleeping in small tents, etc) should lend itself to easy spread of respiratory viruses. COVID-19 is not an exception.

There are now increasing reports ( of evacuations from Mt. Everest and other Himalayan base camps consequent to COVID-19 infection. Apparently, many of these infections were initially wrongly ascribed to altitude effects.

It is inexplicable to me that folks would invest tens of thousands of dollars, months of time, and significant risk of fatality yet not bother to obtain appropriate vaccination or to practice basic preventive measures. While high altitude base camps may be a special case, we should all remember that the same factors which facilitate spread in these environments apply equally to a night at Flowed Lands in the Adirondacks.

(I am considering starting a rework of the site to more accurately reflect what I am currently doing, and to add a bit more content. I will keep you posted! Have a nice summer!)