The present case study aims to present the acclimatization strategy employed by an elite athlete prior two successful ascents to Everest (including a “fastest known time”) in one week.
Training volume and content and altitude exposure were recorded daily. Vertical velocity was recorded by GPS-HR monitor.
The subject used first a LHTLH (Living High Training Low and High) pre-acclimatization method in normobaric hypoxia (NH). Daily, he combined sleeping in a hypoxic tent (total hours: ~260 h) and exercising “as usual” in normoxia but also in NH (total hours >6000 m: 30 h) including at high intensity. The hypoxic sessions were performed at the second threshold on treadmill in NH at 6000 m and the pulse saturation increased from 70% to 85% over one month. Then the subject was progressively exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (HH) first in the Alps then in Himalaya. On day 18, he reached for the second time an altitude >8000 m with the fastest vertical velocity (350 m/h) ever measured between 6300 and 8400 m. After, he climbed twice in a week to summit of Mount Everest (8848m) (including a “fastest known time”, 26.5 h, from Rongbuk monastery, 5100 m).
Overall, this acclimatization was successful and in line with the most recent recommendations: first, using LHTLH; second, using HH at increasing altitudes for a better translation of the NH benefits to HH. This case study reports the preparation for the most outstanding performance ever performed at extreme altitude.