Welcome to a new column within Wilderness Medicine dedicated to climbing medicine and topics of interest for those vertically inclined. Whether you are a seasoned climber with multiple Himalayan ascents to your credit or a new recreational climber just learning the ropes (and knots!), this quarterly feature will have something for you. The goal of this column is to relate items of interest for those who enjoy climbing, and the intricacies associated with the sport, from a wilderness medicine point of view.
So who am I? My name is Bryan Simon and I have been a member of the Wilderness Medical Society since 2008. I am a registered nurse, Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and have a Diploma in Mountain Medicine though the MedEx program based in the United Kingdom. I serve on the membership committee of the Wilderness Medical Society, as well as the Board of Directors for the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine (ACWM) and the Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team (AMRT). I write for various climbing publications and I am co-owner of Vertical Medicine Resources. Above all, I am passionate about all things climbing, and look forward to sharing my passion for the subject with you through this column.
I am very excited to share some of the latest medical developments in the climbing world. Topics for future pieces will vary from first hand accounts of incidents and accidents in the mountains; to education and medical/safety training for climbers in general, and guides specifically; to reviews of new safety related gear, and interviews with climbing professionals regarding training, preparation and injuries in the mountains. While some of these topics may be of interest to climbers only, I will incorporate information and stories that appeal throughout the spectrum of readers of the magazine. Human-interest stories and historical vignettes will occasionally fill these pages along with more technical information such as a discussion of the UIAA Safety Standards and where to find them. I look forward to sharing these topics (and more) within these pages.
My first topic, coming in the next quarter, will discuss the development of the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) curriculum. I'll describe the coordination between the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA), International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM) and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) required to make this diploma program a reality, as well as describe the unique features of the program.
All of these and many other interesting items are coming your way. Have an idea and want to share? Would you like to write a guest column? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] and tell me your thoughts. Until next time, be safe, have fun, and climb on!