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Frostbite, Inexperience, Yukon Territory, Mt. Logan, King Trench Route

FROSTBITE, INEXPERIENCE

Yukon Territory, Mt. Logan, King Trench Route

During an ascent of the King Trench route on Mt. Logan in June 1980, Gideon Frydman, a member of a four-man party from the Royal Military College Club of Canada, noticed that his feet had become “numb” and remained so even in his sleeping bag at night. He continued with the climb (a period of several days), but ended up with frostbite in both feet and the eventual loss of parts of three toes on one foot. Another member of the party also suffered frostbitten feet, but not so severely. (Source: Toronto Globe and Mail, July 4, 1980, G. Frydman)

Analysis

Frydman was using double boots which were not large enough to accommodate the two pairs of socks which he wore without a tight fit inside the boots. A fall into a crevasse, during which he got very chilled before being extricated, also contributed to the problem. (Source: G. Frydman)

Natural thickening of the blood due to adaptation to high altitude and additional possible thickening due to dehydration caused by insufficient fluid intake can increase the tendency to frostbite in climbs of this type. (Source: R. Reader)