When climbing mountains at very high altitude one’s mental function is impaired enormously. Even doing the simple mental arithmetic to decide how long one’s oxygen supply will last can be impossible.
Today’s invention is an indicator that does the thinking part for a befuddled alpinist.
It consists of a gauge which can monitor both one’s oxygen consumption rate and the present altitude. This profile is then compared with the data from a number of expert climbers, as measured at the same spot on this route during an earlier climb.
If one’s performance is noticeably poorer than the average for the earlier climbers (who survived) and the vertical distance to the summit is still large, the gauge could issue a warning saying “Descend now”.
Failure to do so would publicly label a climber as reckless and lessen his/her popularity as a partner in future.
During the descent, the oxygen might be dispensed automatically in response to eg panicky breathing or prolonged pauses with no change in altitude.