Health

Surprisingly, dehydration is a winter hazard. Sweat may not pour from your brow the way it does in summer, but depending on your level of exertion and the dryness of the air, significant moisture loss occurs. Also, fluid intake normally drops because people don't crave cold drinks during the winter. Make a conscious effort to drink enough fluids to keep your urine output copious and clear. This need for fluids highlights the importance of a stove that can dependably melt plenty of snow for drinks.

Hypothermia and frostbite are more traditional winter health hazards. Both can be prevented by awareness of the hazards and by adequate clothing, food, and water. Avoid chills by staying as dry as possible and eating and drinking adequately. If you become chilled, do something about it. Put on more clothes or change damp clothes. If your feet

Fig. 15-1. Snow construction tools are numb, wiggle your toes vigorously in the boot. If these actions don't work, it may be necessary to take a break to warm the numb body parts. When camp is established, inspect feet and fingers for frostbite and treat as necessary. (There is some general information on frostbite later in this chapter, but be sure to consult a first-aid text for details.)

As a member of a climbing party, you're responsible for taking good care of your own health and guarding against problems that could jeopardize the climb or endanger fellow climbers. At the same time, keep alert to any health problems of other team members.

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