LFTOer Book Review - Going Higher

Book Title Going Higher: Oxygen, Man and Mountains
Book Author Charles Houston M.D.
Book Publisher Swan Hill Press
ISBN 1-84037-097-1
Reviewer Bob Owens

This book is written by Charles Houston - a medical doctor who is also an experienced mountaineer and an expert on the subject of the effects of high altitude on the human body.

It is a wide ranging and thorough account of the subject.

Chapter one sets the scene with some chilling tales of mountaineering disasters caused by lack of oxygen and covers the history of man�s accumulation of knowledge about how our respiratory and cardio vascular systems function.

Later chapters become more text book like when dealing with mountain sicknesses, their prevention and treatment.

There are many diagrams of the type that illustrate school biology text books and no colour illustrations or photographs.

It is unclear to me who this book was written for. Some sections would be suitable for a medical student and other parts would be of interest to those of us likely to find ourselves at high altitude on mountains.

Although I found the book interesting I felt that the information that I need as a walker, skier and trekker is available from numerous other sources in a more targeted form.

If you intend to climb or travel to heights above about 8000 ft (the author is American so all heights are given in feet) this book is an education.

It will help you to recognise symptoms of altitude illness before trouble strikes. It may also help you avoid trouble altogether.

I was concerned that my edition appears dated and I note from the internet that there is a later edition of this book available.

I will be walking at high altitude in a couple of weeks and genuinely feel that I am better prepared having read this book.