The Xtreme Everest ascentEarlier this year, a small team of climbers made it to the top of Mount Everest. What marked them out from the crowds of summiteers was that they had more in mind than simply standing on the roof of the world.

The Xtreme Everest ascent

Their mission in climbing to the top of the Himalaya was to get to the bottom of why some people survive life-threatening situations and others perish. Their findings may yet save hundreds of lives across the globe – for patients in hospital intensive-care units as well as high-altitude climbers who push their luck.

But along with the summit team working at the limits of medical and climbing ability, a much bigger group of volunteers made the trek to base camp and underwent the same tests, pushing their bodies to the limit – and sometimes beyond.

Jacqui FigginsJacqui Figgins, a nurse working in an intensive-care unit, told grough about the trip that set out to push the medical boundaries but ended up in a Kathmandu hospital. Read Jacqui's story of high drama in the Himalayan death zone.

 Jacqui Figgins