Philosophical musing: the meaning of TEAM
Bhutan Moment: Snowman Trek is the most difficult trek on the planet
Deja vu all over again, except this time I was on the outside looking in. Suneet, who has summitted Kilimanjaro, done Annapurna Sanctuary and is an ironman, developed acute mountain sickness yesterday.
AMS does not discriminate. It does not care about your pedigree. A previous history predicts greater risk, no history does not preclude development. Fitness minimizes the impact of the gruelling trek but is no guarantee against AMS. AMS depends on amount of ascent, rate of ascent and workload to ascend – so go slow, pack light and try to take rest days. Snowman is what it is – hardcore.
Suneet was flagging for the final two hours of the trek yesterday – Dave stayed back and kept her entertained with non-stop storytelling. When we got to camp it was clear Suneet wasn’t her usual self. She had a headache, problems with her gait an low oxygen saturations. Everyone went into action, we reviewed the Gammo bag (Brian), started the meds, and mobilized the emergency services. There was no way to get a chopper in last night. Options were to go forward in the am – which would mean a 1500 foot climb (bad) before a 5000 foot descent (good) – this didn’t feel like the right option. Split the team, to get Suneet back in the direction we came in while some of the team completed the journey, to which Dale said one and for all, with universal agreement. The final option was to turn back – which involves 30 km of back tracking to the Army camp where a chopper can safely land. Clearly can’t have Suneet doing that type of exercise so in the historic tradition of lady Godiva – off she went on her pony accompanied by a guide and Brian – with the rest of us following.
I am happy to report that with the meds she stabilized overnight and her prognosis is excellent!!!!
Everyone else is well!