By the doctors Lizarraga and Sanchis.
Medicine and Religion, hand by hand. Behind us, the Abruzzi spur of K2.
Clothing, medicines, technical resources... Everything has its place in the preparation of a challenge like the winter K2. However, at home it is certainly difficult to take into account some variables that will seriously condition our medical work.
For example, in the small town of Askole, just 3,000 meters above sea level, we found that the ultrasound gel in the local doctor's office was completely frozen. As soon as we start to ascend, a large part of electronic devices, such as the blood pressure monitor stop working. Simple things, as opening zipped plastic bags or taking out the manual sphygmomanometer from its bag can certainly become complicated. Especially if we constantly have to use mountaineering gloves due to low temperatures. And what about basic things in the first-aid-kit, such as antiseptic, eye drops and other similar products?
They all are solidified when we want to apply them. Therefore, it is better to have them close to the kitchen of the Base Camp, at about 5000 meters of altitude, or the intermediate camps during the seven days trekking on the Baltoro glacier.
We melt them in bain-marie, hoping that none of the properties will be lost after such extreme changes in temperature. The product is then ready to use, but only for a short time.
Other elements like eye drops, which are necessary during the trekking, we take them out of the backpack and carry them for a while in an inner pocket, until they become liquid again.
Even the classic adhesive tape loses its adhesiveness. Fortunately, we learn from experience, and the pelota players of yesteryear used to heat it in a flame or on an electric stove so that they could stick it in their hands.
This kind of things we have to do at these mountains, in extremely cold weather conditions. It is certainly not an ordinary medicine, but it is the one we have chosen..