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

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Thirty-seven: April 29th, 2009

Day Thirty-seven: Italian Climber Dies; Rescue of Marco Ruscarri

This morning, after a horrid night’s sleep, I awoke to an icy tent and a very windy morning. I decided to remain in camp for the morning to acclimate. I heard Mario Merelli and the other Italians preparing for their descent. They had reached close to 8000 meters before being forced to turn back. As they began heading down, Lina arrived and told me that Giuseppe, the Italian who’d wandered down alone yesterday, had died in Camp II from pulmonary edema. Shocked, I decided to head down, as the weather was not improving and was forecast to get worse. When I arrived to camp III,I noticed a group of climbers in the snow. I quickly reorganized my pack and headed down to help . It was Mario Merelli’s group. Marco Ruscorri was lying in the snow, overcome by exhaustion .We took turns hauling him down the slope; two of us holding his feet and two more holding rope attached to the back of his harness to steer him in the right direction. An exhausting hour later, we arrived to Camp II, where the Italians placed Marco in the tent to rest and eat a bit. I continued down, now exhausted from the effort of supporting a 6’3” Italian in the deep snow. I arrived in the now typical afternoon whiteout and began helping the Spanish prepare their mess tent for the reception of the ill climber. After this, we ate an early dinner, then headed  out into the whiteout with headlamps to signal our location to the arriving party. Marco turned out to be severely dehydrated with very low potassium levels. The doctors hooked him up to an IV with electrolytes then glucose and he quickly improved. A few hours later, the IV’s were out and he was released and instructed to drink at least 4 liters in the next 24 hours. Relieved that he was ok, and exhausted from the day’s events, I went to bed.

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