37

If Reinhold Messner can climb all 14 peeks over 8,000 without oxygen, and do Everest twice in two years without it, then a civilisation can happen at that height. That is false. Messner wasn't depending on running water or forageable food at those heights: he was bringing it all with him. He wasn't staying any appreciable time at those altitudes, either. ...


27

This is a scenario which has occurred in many parts of the world, so it is not difficult to find some examples for this. As I'm myself from a mountainous area (rural Switzerland), which until a couple of decades ago still was very underdeveloped, I can tell you of a couple of problems and how people dealt with it: Winter problems: Yes there is snow and ice ...


12

I believe this is not possible for a pre-industrial society. The highest permanently inhabited 'settlement' is indeed at around 5,200 m. But from my experiences in the Himalayas (husband of a doctor who worked at high altitude settlements there), the highest altitude villages are usually considered to be seasonal and the inhabitants need to descend to below ...


12

Liquid water at that height is going to be a challenge: at the Equator the limit for perennial snows is 5000 meter above sea level, so you see that there will be no liquid water in the open. You could go around this if you have some sort of heat source, which can provide local warmer conditions. You mention an extinct volcano, so it might be possible to ...


11

The human body would adapt and deal with elevation. Many top athletes often train at high altitudes to help train their bodies to absorb oxygen more efficiently from the thinner air. If the terrain was pure mountains then the ability to adapt to the local geography would be key. Natural shelters in the forms of caves for early survival, though a medieval ...


9

This is Lobuche. It's located at 16,207' in elevation in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It's the last stop before the Kumbu glacier on your way to Everest Base Camp. As you can see, there is no real vegetation. Moss grows here. Some small ground covering plants. Most plants stop growing around 15,000' rocky tundra begins to give way to snow fields. Moss will ...


7

Double the relative amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Presumably, this still falls within the realm of "Earth-like". As already noted, entire populations of humans have already adapted to live at ~15,000 feet, and trees grow up 10,000+ ft where atmospheric pressure is about 69.6 kPa. The altitude you want is 25,000 ft, which has an ...


5

Your people would have adaptations similar to the Sherpa who live at high altitude in Nepal. There are numerous studies of their adaptations, here is a review of the studies and their findings. Some highlights are increased blood flow, more oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood, stronger hearts, and larger chests. A more complete summary is below:


5

what conditions are needed to support a human community? Bearing in mind the criteria that you stipulate. a stable community of completely isolated pre-industrial humans They live at an altitude of (at least) 25,000 feet (7620 meters) The conditions needed will be at least one of the following three options. A lower altitude or higher ...


4

The impact tossed out about 500 billion tons of debris into the atmosphere, some of which escaped into space. The difference in altitude from the perspective of the meteor would be utterly irrelevant. It's like suggesting there's a difference between stepping on a hardwood floor, and a piece of paper on the hardwood floor. The same 500B tons of debris ...


4

The highest settlement on Earth is supposed to be at 16,830 feet or 5,130 meters, which is only about 0.6732 of your altitude of 25,000 feet or 7620 meters. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest_cities1 I doubt that there could be a human settlement at 25,000 feet, 1.48 times the record, on Earth without advanced technology like in an Antarctic base ...


4

The greatest killer in the mountains is exposure. Your tribe would need to find a way to stay warm and dry (or if desert mountains then cool). Caves provide good shelter; however, if they intend to stay there for much longer then more permanent structures are possible. The nature of a more permanent shelter depends on the local materials and the scarcity of ...


3

Can't think of early Medieval examples, but here's an example of hunter-gatherers living in mountains: http://research.amnh.org/anthropology/research/naa/alta_toquima In the Great Basin of western North America, the mountains are often much more hospitable than the valleys, as they catch the limited precipitation and store it as snowpack. Animals (and ...


3

If we look at existing high altitude adaptations in humans we can probably get a clue as to what they might be like, should they survive long enough to reproduce. Adaptations for low oxygen By far the biggest selective pressure on your people will be hypoxia during pregnancy, which is a big problem. On the positive side, issues affecting fertility tend to ...


3

Like Tibetans and Sherpas and Peruvian highlanders.


3

I cannot comment so i just have to start a new answer. It is specifically about JBHs answer. You are wrong in one point. More mass=higher gravitational force will make the atmosphere more dense but also smaller. So what you need is actually a planet with a lower gravity so it's atmosphere reaches farther out. Also the density of the atmosphere / the pressure ...


2

All current answers are missing a major element. They all focus on how humans could survive there. What they (and you) are missing is a deeper question. Why are they there in the first place? Humans certainly have colonised a wide variety of landscapes. However in all cases there have been good reasons for humans to move into those landscapes, by ...


2

You could make it work by lowering the sea. Earth gravity, mostly Earth-like, with Earth-descended species, but the oceans are either mostly gone, or the average bottom of the ocean is lower, so there's a lower sea level. Lower the sea level by 2-3km, and you can have your isolated tribe at the height above sea level you want. You'd probably want to drop ...


2

It varies by climate and temperature. The Moesa valley in the Swiss cantons of Graubünden and Ticino offers a perfect example of a transistion between alpine coniferous and Mediterranean delicious vegetation


1

You are still going to experience an extinction level event, only the details will vary slightly. That asteroid, regardless of where it hits, is still a kinetic energy bomb. Hitting in the Tibetan Plateau is going to send a percentage of its energy (depending on where ground zero is) down into the division between the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. ...


1

In first place, keep in mind that there are a lot of lowland conifers all over the world. Anyway, we can restrict the question to subalpine and subpolar forests, which basically consist on conifers. Then the altitude depends mostly on latitude. In northern Eurasia or Canada taiga is found at sea level, but in southern Europe it starts at about 1600 m. At ...


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