Dr Jun’ichi Shinozaki, a deceptively gentle physician, freely admits to loving the dangers involved in difficult climbs. After being diagnosed with a malignancy, his first thought was to attempt Everest. "I needed to deliberately challenge something that, unlike my cancer, I could confront personally," he explains.
An enthusiastic alpinist, Shinozaki once conquered 20 Asian peaks on a single expedition. To give greater meaning to his expeditions, he offered to test the air and water and collect hair and nail samples from local populations at progressively higher altitudes during whatever climbs he might make. The findings would provide a clearer picture of trends in global warming and general pollution.