Day 17 - 20/04/2021 HAPE

Published on 20 April 2021 at 10:45

High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is a potentially fatal form of severe high-altitude illness, a Type of non radiogenic pulmonary edema caused by hypoxia.

After another bad nights sleep and waking up feeling like I’ve been run over by a king size Yak I make a request to see the base camp doctors and it doesn’t take long to confirm my worst fears - I have HAPE.

My choices are simple if I do nothing I’ll die, if I try to continue higher up the mountain I’ll die quicker, I must go down in altitude as soon as possible for the condition to be reversed and hopefully we have caught it in time so there will be no lasting effects.

Elite Exped arrange for a heli transfer down to Namche Bazar dropping me 2,000m in altitude and I’ve quickly got a bag packed of random things to be next to useless and am bungled on to the heli, Mingma David is coming with me but the pilot changes his mind on occupants and says only one of us can go on this flight, my knowledge of flying in Nepal previously means you take advantage of a ‘bird in the hand’ and there’s no way I’m getting off, I signal to Mingma David that I’ll see him at the landing zone in Namche and shove the door closed and we’re airborne and heading down the valley in just a few seconds.   

True to form four hours later there’s no sign of Mingma and I’ve just learned the second heli dropped him at a village miles away and he’s having to run here - I suspect it wont bother a man who climbed Everest and Lhotse and the decided to run the Everest marathon when he got back to base camp and came 4th (having never even run a marathon before)!

I’m hoping 4 days here will sort out then HAPE and then I can head back up the mountain  but one day at a time just for now.

Gutted I’ve just realised I’ve forgot on my iPad charger!!!!

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8 months ago

Hope your okay Steve. Message me if your able to. xx

Paul Heap
8 months ago

Hi Steve, I'm following your blog with interest and saddened to hear of these developments. I wish you a speedy recovery and that you are able to rejoin and continue the expedition. Best wishes

David Blakey
8 months ago

Hi Steve

Not what I wanted to read but health is the important thing and I wish you a speedy recovery. Pretty sure these guys are used to this and will sort you out have you back up the mountain in good fettle.

Pretty sure someone will have a charger!

Take care.


8 months ago

Sagamartha’s retribution for not having the whiskey at the Puja! Look after yourself you know the rules. Getting to the summit is optional - getting down safely is compulsory.

Tim Cameron-Jones
8 months ago

Steve, sorry to see you have HAPE. Stay safe. wishing you a speedy recovery and resuming your adventure