The latest state of medical science pitted against millions of years of mountains: this contrast is the central theme of this captivating documentary by David Pichler. He is one of the founders of Berckwerk, a platform on which research into mountains, media and communication converge. In Höhenrausch he follows a group of mountaineers and subjects them to all kinds of scientific research into altitude sickness at the highest mountain hut in the Alps, the Capanna Regina Margherita at 4554 metres.
That means snatching for breath, oxygen tanks and the measuring instrumentation all at the same time, as a team of professors from different universities is trying to answer the questions that altitude sickness still raises. We learn – insofar as we didn’t already know – about oxygen, red blood cells, lung and cerebral edema, but also about the hazards, the treatment and prevention of altitude sickness.
All this takes place against the spectacular backdrop of the mountains, with Monte Rosa as the central massif, in the form of interviews and well-stylised camerawork. This is intriguing food for thought for all mountain lovers, certainly for those who have ascended too quickly or for those planning to do this.