Use of Oxygen on the Mount Everest Expedition, 1938

Article metrics


THERE were two types of oxygen apparatus ooo available to the Mount Everest Expedition of 1938. One was the open type, used by the 1922 and 1924 expeditions, in which the climber breathes a mixture of oxygen and air. The other was a closed circuit apparatus in which pure oxygen is breathed. Now the essence of the oxygen problem is the fact that the apparatus cannot be effectively tested except at very high altitudes. Serious oxygen lack does not make itself felt below about 23,000 ft., so that a test in the Alps is not conclusive even with the closed apparatus, and with the open apparatus it would be useless. Similarly, a test in a pressure chamber is of little value since it cannot include the vitally important acclimatization factor. There was therefore no possibility of making a comparison of the two units in Europe, and it was decided by the leader of the Expedition that both must be taken.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    See Prof. G. I. Finch's account in "The Assault on Mount Everest", p. 264; also P. J. H. Unna, "The Oxygen Equipment of the 1922 Everest Expedition", Alpine J., 34, 235.

  2. 2

    See "The Medical and Physiological aspects of the Mount Everest Expeditions", by C. B. Warren, Geog. J., 90 (August 1937).

Download references

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

LLOYD, P. Use of Oxygen on the Mount Everest Expedition, 1938. Nature 143, 961–963 (1939) doi:10.1038/143961a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.