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Is having color vision deficiency a problem for mountaineering ? Can one so, pursue mountaineering as a career ? Do professional mountaineering schools and expeditions accept climbers with color vision problem for high altitude (7000ers or 8000ers) climbing, as sponsored athletes ? To clarify, as per the free online tests underwent as of now, it is moderate-to-strong Proton color vision defect, Red color blindness (Protonopia). Also my sibling is having it (genetic).

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Obviously (see the answers given so far) it does not get quite clear what you mean with "career" in this context. Do you think about getting a mountaineering professional in terms of a sponsored athlete or a mountain guide or do you just want to attend commercially guided mountaineering tours? Also the type of color vision deficiency is of interest as it makes a huge difference. Could you please clarify? –  Benedikt Bauer Apr 6 at 19:07

2 Answers 2

It depends on the nature of the deficiency. The most common form, red-green colorblindness, isn't a problem: I'm not aware of any situation where color coding is used to convey safety-critical information. On the other hand, if you've got rod monochromacy, climbing mountains is probably a bad idea.

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Why actually? In night, everyone sees monochrome. I can't think any situation climbing would be an issue. Yes, being mountain rescuer would probably be an issue, because they would have problems seeing red or blue clothing... –  Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Apr 6 at 20:49
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Rod monochromacy isn't just greyscale vision: it also makes it difficult to impossible to see in daylight. –  Mark Apr 6 at 22:17
    
I didn't know rod monochromacy is so severe... –  Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Apr 7 at 5:23

I don't know whether e.g. mountain guides for expeditions are accepted if they have color vision deficiency. But as a participant I don't think this is a no-go criteria. There were guys with asthma and other serious medical limitations going on 8000+ and Mark Inglis made it on the Everest with two artificial legs.

I don't know what you suppose of a mountaineering career though. Do you want to become a sponsored mountaineer? If so, it's up to you which risks you want to take and with higher risks the chances to get publicity (and sponsorship) increases.

Again, I think if you are going to be physically and mentally prepared, have a growing experience base in mountaineering and the background knowledge, you are going to have better chances to reach a high summit than some rich tourists which are just trying to brag with their achievement.

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