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High-elevation doctor ministers to the Rolling Stones

Brief by Allen Best

Altitude – March 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Last fall, the Rolling Stones were scheduled to play in Mexico City, which has an elevation of 7,342 feet. Worried a bit about the thin, polluted air there, the band turned to Telluride’s Peter Hackett, one of the world’s premiere authorities on high-altitude medicine and physiology.

As a doctor, Hackett has worked extensively on Mt. Denali and also in the Himalayas. He is also an accomplished climber, who has, in fact, climbed Everest solo from the South Col to the summit. He has also worked at the Telluride Medical Center for six years.

Hackett told The Telluride Watch that he did relatively little work during the band’s 16-city tour. Not surprisingly, he said he was most concerned about Keith Richards, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage after falling out of palm tree last April. But Richards, who is 63, had no problems, nor did any of the other 60-something band members or the 40-member entourage. The most challenging situation was in Chicago, where the band played in freezing temperatures.