Everest Update 5/29

To the readers of my blog, the last blog post on the 23rd wasn’t quite accurate…

My father, who manages the blog for me while I climb, extrapolated the words from a short text message I sent him when I arrived at Camp 1 the night of the 23rd. I had promised my father a follow-up text when I arrived at Camp 1 from Camp 3. My text to him on the 23rd wasn’t the truth. I just didn’t see the point in him, or you all, worrying for me. I had full on HAPE, and nearly died the nights of the 23rd and 24th. It was an incredibly long 4 days – and a hell of a battle – to get down the mountain.

In reality on the 23rd I wasn’t sure I would survive the night – as crazy as that is to hear myself say. I knew I could count on little help getting down the mountain, so it was self-rescue or perish. I had promised my father that follow-up text when I arrived at Camp 1 from Camp 3. But I couldn’t find it in myself to break the news to him. So I lied.  I was in midst of a struggle for my life. At the time, I didn’t know what exactly was wrong, but I knew I was deep in it and I suspected it was HAPE. Once I did get down to C1, and the next day when I got down to Advanced Base Camp, many people went far out of their way to help me. I probably owe my life to those kindhearted care givers.

I’m in Kathmandu now trying to get myself to a qualified treatment center and then a flight home. BUT I do want to share this story because I see, even now, how profound the experience was. There is something beautiful and personally significant in a prolonged struggle to just stay alive. When you know deeply that each breath is a lifesaving gift, things tend to come into focus.

I’ll try to have a full debrief of the events from the 23rd to the 27th up within a week or so.

Just to blow minds, on the night of the 23rd, my Sp02 (% of oxygenated blood cells) was as low as 43 and my resting heart rate was 135. I didn’t even realize that these were livable numbers…

9 responses to “Everest Update 5/29

  1. So good to hear from you Alex! Several of us following you knew there was more to the story! Doesn’t matter, just glad your safe and seeking proper care. I can’t wait to hear more details on this epic climb!

  2. I’m so glad you’re safe. I’ve been following all of your posts. You’re still the baddest man I know 😉 Take care of yourself, Alex.

  3. So glad to see your post, Alex. Been refreshing all day for days. Something wasn’t right.

  4. Alex,
    I was worried when we did not see a post after your last one going up to Camp 1 after sharing the tent with Topo at Camp 3. Your writing that you came down sounded like you were aware of symptoms, but then nothing reported.
    So glad to hear that you are OK, or at least much better and getting treatment in Kathmandu. But this was way too close a call. And HAPE after the many other cases on the mountain and the four deaths.
    Very scary for you. So glad you are safe.

    Jim

  5. So thankful you made it down, Alex! Hoping for a quick recovery for you and safe travels back!!

  6. Alex I am beyond words and I am so proud you for taking good care of yourself in the face of this. I love you with all my heart and I can’t wait to have you home to celebrate your heroic journey to the edge and back. I could never live without my brother. I love you!!!!

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