CBO Gives Back
Crested Butte Outdoors Gives Back
A nonprofit organization founded by Crested Butte Outdoors International
Is your hired help medically trained?
FACT--Altitude sickness kills.
According to Peter Hackett, M.D, the world’s authority on high altitude sickness, Mount Kilimanjaro at 19,430' is not the highest peak in the world, but it is one of the most dangerous peaks in the world for tourists to climb. Porters, clients and even African guides die on the mountain yearly due to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) . All of the deaths from AMS could be avoided if the guides knew what to look for.
Those so called “trained” guides we hire to take us to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro's 19,000 ' summit have no idea how to recognize or treat the sudden onset of AMS. Often, young, strong men who live in the jungle at 3,000' are hired to escort clients or carry loads toward the top of the Kilimanjaro as a way to earn an income. They soon find themselves cold, ill-equiped, untrained and hiking in the dark in sub-zero temperatures. Their salary depends on dragging thier sick clients and thier co-workers toward the top at any cost. These are the guides we trust to keep us safe. Some years as many as five deaths occur due to AMS. Deaths could be avoided and lives could be saved if only the guides were trained to recognize the early signs and symptoms of AMS or the more serious aliments called high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE).
DISCOVERY- Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa
In 2002,Crested Butte Outdoor International's founder, Susan Purvis was asked to teach a private high-altitude medical course to 20 African guides working on Mt Kilimanjaro. A few months later, CBO traveled to Moshi, Tanzania and launched the first custom high-altitude medical training course (find story under news and media). Eleven days hiking to the top of Kili with 14 clients and 60 porters and guides gave Susan opportunity to observe and formulate a plan on how she would tackle the problem of the language barrier--Swahili and English. Other challeges she faced was the simplest one: How was she going to get this normally shy culture to talk about eating and drinking and peeing and pooping, all important subjects to talk about when spending extended periods of time with clients. Following the trek, Susan successfully taught a six day medical course with an emphasis on AMS prevention and treatment.
Seven months later, Susan returned to Kili to teach the second high-altitude course for new and returning students. This time she returned with texts and a top-notch powerpoint presentations. Wilderness Medical Associates and Marmot endorsed her efforts. Despite the language barrier and the guides lack of general education (some had only been schooled to the age of 11), she found the majority of the students had retained the vital information necessary to prevent and recognize a medical emergency. Her custom high-altitude medical training course and curriculum has paid off. Students not only have the skills to recognize and prevent high-altitude sickness,they are protecting themselves and their clients. This course has set medical standards for other outfitters guiding on Mt. Kilimanjaro.
NEPAL 2005 and 29,000 feet
The need and demand for another course was so great that one year later, Susan recruited the expertise of other medical practioneers and the second annual course trained 20 new and returning students. Students learned how to manage not onlyhigh altitude medical emergencies, but hypothermia, diarrhea, frostbite, rescue consideration, radio use and common medical problems.
In 2008, Susan teamed up with the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation and the Khumbu Ice Climbing School along with fellow educators Dr. Luanne Freer, Kristen Peterson P.A., and Birgen Knoff, R.N. to teach the third annual WMSL School to 24 of the brightest Sherpa Guides. The Local students for the 2008 school were hand-picked by the Khumbu Ice Climbing School instructors based on their achievements and skill demonstrated in last year’s climbing school. To read more about the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation log onto www.alexlowe.org. With all the continued support the WMSL School is growing fast and now has permanent roots in the Khumbu Valley.
WHAT WE DO
The school's goal is to provide free education to the Sherpa people working at high altitudes about wilderness and altitude medicine. WMSL is the first comprehensive high altitude medical program designed to address problems associated with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). AMS can kill anyone including native guides, porters, and even the fittest climbing client. If one of our WMSL students can save a life by recognizing AMS then we have done our job. All of our courses are taught in the guides’ homeland.
Help us reach our Goal. For the 2012 season, the WMSL School needs to raise $10,000.00 to provide this valuable medical course to 24 new Sherpa guides.
Whether you trek to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, or Mt. Everest-- wouldn’t you like to know your guide is medically trained? By supporting WMSL you can send a guide to school. WMSL is seeking partners and sponsorship to help defray the considerable cost of the WMSL program.
There are several ways you can contribute to the WMSL Program. They include direct tax deductible donations, gear, and equipment support.
Renew outdated and worn medical equipment
Please send your donations to:
or call us at 970-596-2999 or e mail us at email@example.com
Susan Purvis, Founder and President