An Everest update from Hether Werner – 7th May.
“Taking a quick vacation from my vacation.
“Today was a low point for me, not just on Everest, but for mountaineering in general. We started our second rotation with the hope that my respiratory issues had abated. I walked extra slowly up the icefall to keep my breathing steady.
“Unfortunately, moving slowly in the icefall turns you into a one-woman traffic jam. After hours of trying to be courteous and let people pass, a sudden avalanche tore directly past us, eliciting a casual, “well if it didn’t hit ya, just keep on walkin’,” from one of the guides. My reaction was far more terrified. If just one of those people behind me had been killed, it would have been a direct result of my slowness.
“I sped up, only to find that the back-spasming, rib-crunching cough was right there, waiting for me. Within an hour, my lungs were taking on liquid, which resurfaced every time I coughed. (Lovely) I decided to turn back.
“It looked like the end of my journey, but Jangbu, Jony, and Greg came up with a plan. Guides have sadistic senses of humor, so after I returned from the icefall, they sent my gasping, choking self on an 8-HOUR(!!!) hike to one of the tea houses. They gave me 3 days to recover at lower elevation, then come back to EBC for a summit bid. It’s a moonshot, but at this point I’m grateful for any hope they can give me.
“The lung funk has now turned to plastic-like pellets, which makes for a painful exorcism. (What the hell kind of disease is this??) I anticipate a long, unpleasant evening in the tea house.”
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