Product Test: Perú

When we heard our buddy Graham Brant-Zawadzki, a physician in a wilderness emergency medicine fellowship at the university of utah, was headed to Perú for some training on a glacier we asked if he would do a little product testing and share our goods with the doctors, Peruvian mountain guides, firefighters and search and rescue specialists that he met along the wayBelow is what he had to say. Thanks Graham!

This October I joined a group of physicians and trainers on a week-long course working with the Asociación de Guías de Montaña del Perú (AGMP) in the Peruvian Cordillera Vilcanota. Based out of a mountain lodge at the base of Mt. Ausangate, we spent our days on a 17,000ft glacier learning glacial traverse techniques and how to build and implement crevasse rescue systems from some of the best mountain guides on the planet. Each evening, under a string of hanging solar lanterns, we then hosted a course in wilderness medical assessment, treatment, and transport for a combined group of AGMP guides, Peruvian mountain rescue police officers, firefighters, and others. 

While stunningly beautiful, a glacier is a brutal place to spend a week. As if the harsh winds, extreme cold, and seemingly bottomless crevasses weren't enough, at 17,000ft ultraviolet light is about 50% more powerful than at sea level. And it's not just light coming down you have to worry about, but radiation reflected off snow and ice can be just as strong, with mountaineers notoriously finishing days with burns to any and all exposed skin: under their chins, nostrils, the surface of their eyes, and even the roofs of their mouths.  It's an environment where sunburns go from inconvenient to dangerous, so we were all pretty stoked to find out that Tom and the guys from Solid Sun have figured out how to make some of the burliest sunscreen any of us had ever used. Not only did we get out unscathed, but some of the guides even joked that their wives wouldn't believe they'd been climbing without coming back three shades darker. - GBZ

Taylor Cotton