SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Biomedical Tests during a High Mountain Ski Touring Competition (Raid Blanc)


The School of Sport Medicine of the University of Pavia, Italy, provided medical assistance and trauma care during a winter ski touring competition named “Raid Blanc.” This 5-day endurance competition, in the French, Italian, and Swiss Monte Bianco region, included 14 timed trials, with a total vertical drop of about 18 000 m, and a final ski speed contest.

Seven athletes were subjected to biomedical tests to study muscular fatigue (muscular enzymes and lactic acid changes) and hydration problems during a long-term competition at low temperatures.

The medical team evaluated the athletes' condition before the competition, immediately after two of the special laps, and after the speed contest.

Useful information evolved from every observation. The hematocrit level and variations of muscular enzymes have a significant increase when comparing the basic conditions to those following the special lap or the flying kilometre (average: lactate dehydrogenase [LDH]: 199.17, 405.14, 315.25; creatine phosphokinase [CPK]: 172.57, 382.00, 205.50). There is also an increase of the same enzyme in the cardiac fraction (average: LDH1: 106.83, 194.00, 153.00). These data are in contrast with the lactic acid levels, which remained normal. The lack of correlation between the two indexes of muscular fatigue led to the hypothesis that the amount of effort (in trained athletes) does not involve the lactigenetic mechanism.

Author Information

Zucco, P
Centre of Sport Medicine and Traumatology, University of Pavia, Italy
Bonvecchio, A
School of Sport Medicine, University of Pavia, Italy
Casati, A
Intensive Care and Anesthesiology Service 2nd, S. Matteo Hospital, Pavia, Italy
Minelli, R
School of Sport Medicine, University of Pavia, Italy
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 357–363
DOI: 10.1520/STP19483S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5083-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1197-4