With the approach of colder months just around the corner, it's important to be aware of the risk of hypothermia. You can avoid this dangerous condition by avoiding exposure to the elements, wearing warm layered clothes, keeping your skin dry, and watching for initial signs of a low core temperature (such as shivering and loss of coordination). These precautions can keep you safe in cold and windy conditions.
However, in case you're wondering what can happen if you disregard these basic precautions, look no further than the recent story of Nathan French.
In an effort to raise money for the charity Dementia UK, 19-year-old Nathan French decided to climb the tallest mountain in Wales — in nothing but Superman underwear. On September 9th, the teen began climbing the 3,560-foot peak of Snowdon, and successfully reached the top later that day. However, he soon started to feel the effects of hypothermia.
Nathan told the Liverpool Echo, “This is the first time I have ever climbed a mountain like this… It was very cold and it got progressively colder the higher up we got.” Eventually, some women at the peak of Snowdon gave him their tickets to a train which returned down the mountain, but the cold had already taken its toll. He said, “I couldn’t physically stop shaking and we had to ring an ambulance.”
The paramedics who treated him reportedly found his blood sugar and blood pressure were both low, and that he was suffering from hypothermia. After receiving treatment, he appears to have recovered fully, and told reporters he's glad he was able to raise money for charity through an online fundraiser page.
After the experience was covered by local news outlets, he reportedly received negative comments on social media, but he feels these were unfair since he was able to return down the mountain without needing to be rescued. In response to the criticism, he wrote, “There is no love? Where is it? A prime objective I wanted to do from all this was encourage more love and I got hate. Strange day we live in, social media is poor.”
To learn more about how to avoid hypothermia, check out the infographic “How to Survive Hypothermia” or read the survival story of a hypothermic helicopter pilot.