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that the only effective means for protection from the effects of hypoxia are the body's own adaptive physiological responses.

There are a host of factors found in the mountain environment that can affect a soldier's well-being. All of the factors shown in Figure 16-1 are important when troops are rapidly deployed to a high-terrestrial environment. Some are operational and can be controlled by trained soldiers; others are unavoidable. Many of the factors are interrelated and are often found in the presence of each other. Although many of these factors have been described and studied individually, they may not be independent of each other and probably act additively or synergistically.

FACTORS IN A MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENT

Cold and Heat

Average ambient temperatures are reduced 2°C (3.6°F) for every 300-m (984-ft) rise in elevation. This means there is usually about an 8°C (14.4°F) difference between Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 1,829 m (6,000 ft) and the summit of Pikes Peak at 4,300 m (14,110 ft), a temperature and altitude change that is well within the limits of exposure that can be handled by the U.S. soldier of today. At any given hour, the "physiologic" temperature could drop 20°C (36°F) with changes in solar load and wind. In a relatively short time, a soldier could easily go from a sweating situation with several layers of

FIGURE 16-1 Interaction of various factors impinging on the well-being of individuals at high terrestrial elevations.



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