HART Director, Prof Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson and MTOUGH Director, Dr Lee Crust, together with Dr Christian Swann of the University of Wollongong, Australia have been undertaking a phenomenological research project on the lived experience of high altitude mountaineering.
Particular themes that have emerged from the findings cohere around endurance and mental toughness in the rarefied air of the so-called ‘death zone’ of high altitude peaks (those above 8000m). This form of mountaineering demands a combination of intense cognitive and corporeal endurance, and takes place in extreme environments, including some of the most hostile and dangerous terrain on earth.
In the most recent article, published in Sociology in December 2017, endurance is analysed as cognitively, corporeally and interactionally lived and communicated, in the form of ‘endurance work’. Data emanate from in-depth interviews with 18 high-altitude mountaineers, 10 of whom experienced the 2015 avalanche on Mount Everest.
Allen-Collinson, J, Crust, L and Swann, C (2017) ‘Endurance work’: embodiment and the mind-body nexus in the physical culture of high-altitude mountaineering, Sociology, online early; can be accessed here.