Technoline Ltd. have sponsored the Challenge8000 team through the purchase of potentially life-saving equipment to be used by the team in their two extreme mountaineering attempts in the Himalayas.

Picture above: Simon Cusens, Managing Director of Technoline presenting equipment to Marco Cremona of Challenge8000.

The Challenge8000 team is made up of Marco Cremona, Gregory Attard and Robert Gatt. In September they will attempt to break into the 8000m elevation barrier (also known as the Death Zone) when they will climb the 8201-metre high Cho Oyu.

In March 2010 the Challenge8000 team will attempt to get to the top of the world when they will scale Mt. Everest.

This will be the first-ever attempt by a Maltese team to climb over 8,000 metres. The current national elevation record stands at 6962 metres, achieved when Marco Cremona and Gregory Attard climbed Aconcaugua in the Andes in January 2008.

Equipment provided by Technoline Ltd. includes a portable oxygen saturation meter which the team will use to check their acclimatization process. The oxygen in the blood decreases with altitude; an oxygen saturation level below 70% is potentially fatal. At sea level, the oxygen saturation level is typically 98-99%.

To mitigate the incidence of frostbite, the Maltese Team has also been equipped with battery-operated foot warmers that should warm up the climbers' toes when the mercury drops to below - 25 degrees or lower. Frostbite is a common occurrence on these big mountains and in most cases this leads to the loss of fingers and toes.

Technoline also provided the Challenge8000 team with three sets of face masks, which include a heat exchanger as a mouthpiece. The air in the Himalayas mountain range is cold and dry and induces a condition referred to as the Khumbu cough. This cough can get so bad that some climbers actually break ribs through coughing. The heat exchanger exchanges heat and moisture from the exhaled air with the cold, dry air with the result that the inhaled air is warmer and contains some moisture. The Maltese climbers will also wear these masks when sleeping.

Technoline is a leading supplier of medical, laboratory, homecare and scientific equipment in Malta.

Source: Times of Malta August 15, 2009