Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Thirty-six: April 28th, 2009

Day Thirty-six: Rescue of Italian Climber; Climb to Camp IV

This morning, we awoke to a frigid morning. As I was melting snow and packing up, we heard someone calling for help and saw a lone figure stumbling down the slope. Inma, Lolo, and I headed up to help the climber down to the tents of Camp III. The climber was one of the Italians, Giuseppe Antonelli. We supported his on both sides as he stumbled a few steps then collapsed. When we finally arrived to the tent, the Spanish radioed the doctor in base camp as I removed Giuseppe’s crampons and put him into the tent out of the wind. He had no backpack and was only wearing a fleece jacket, not his down jacket. We asked him some basic questions to test his cognitive skills, and he did surprisingly well. I figured that he had mild hypothermia, not cerebral edema, as he was able to hold down a conversation, but the doctor in base camp advised the Spanish to give him an injection of dexamethasone (a potent corticosteroid used to treat high altitude cerebral edema). I thought it was overkill but accepted that presumably, the doctor knew best. A few minutes later, Lina, Lolo, and Ana who were already going to descend to carry up more gear from Camp II to Camp III, headed down with the semi-conscious Italian supported between them on trekking poles. I offered to help, but the three of them seemed to have the situation in hand and there were a dozen other climbers on hand on the route below should they need more help, so I began slowly to prepare my pack for the climb to Camp IV, along with Inma and Tamara from the Andalucian team. Two hours later, I was in Camp IV speaking to the Koreans, who, this morning at 8am, had summitted in high winds. I wished them good luck on Dhaulagiri then headed into my tent to rest and make water. I hoped the winds would die down by the evening so I could head for the summit beginning around 10pm. Instead, the winds intensified and as the night continued, I realized that the winds were too strong for a summit attempt. I finally dozed off disappointed that I hadn’t been able to make my attempt with the Koreans the night before.

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