On May 23rd Daniel Wolfson became the first Israeli woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. But as it turned out, that was the easy bit. Getting down and getting home safe was much tougher.
She explained via her Instagram account:
“I have been back in my home country for a week now and the routine very quickly brought me back into balance, but the thoughts keep taking me to those difficult moments that accompanied me during my journey.
“All along the way I told you that the mountain should allow to go up and most importantly the mountain should let you go down.
“My journey was long and exhausting and Mount Everest did not want to release me until the end. The descent from the summit was not easy for me, it took five days to descend from the summit to Base Camp which is at an altitude of 5350 meters.
“When I arrived at Base Camp after the summit, my health began to deteriorate and I learned (in retrospect) that among the others there was a fear I had the onset of cerebral edema.
“Weather at Base Camp was very severe, a blizzard fell on Base Camp and the snow covered the entire camp and even rose to a height of one metre, the helicopters in such weather could not reach Base Camp so I could not be rescued by helicopter.
“I thought it was fatigue after the summit and the body was just exhausted. Every step I took was not simple, I could not stand for more than a few minutes and getting from one tent to another took me an hour (it was a 5 metre walk) and I even had difficulty breathing and even began to confuse my speech. The only way to handle this situation is to go down and down as fast as possible.
“It was decided that I should start the foot descent, otherwise my condition might get worse and could have fatal consequences for the future. I did not know where to gather more forces and start the descent.
“During my descent, I realized that I had to notify the MAGNUS locator and rescue and say that something was happening to me. I did not want to stress anyone and just wrote a message “I do not feel good”. The friends from Magnus, upon receiving the message, set up a Knesset and together with ‘PassportCard’ began to instruct me what to do and how to handle my condition.
“They told me what to do immediately. I did not know such a thing existed. I felt that they were with me and closest to me and I could go down safely and nothing would happen to me. This was how I was accompanied until I arrived in Kathmandu and began to feel an improvement in my condition.
“Huge thanks to Magnus and Passport Card who accompanied me for two months throughout the trip! They were up to date on my every move and took care of me from a distance but I felt they were closest to me. I want to ask that everyone goes on climbing trips or extreme trips or even just for a non-dangerous trip, take a satellite device with you and take out the best insurance – these are the things that save lives.”
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