Apr 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm #1257203Apr 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm #1593275
Very sad news, indeed.
You know, I climbed that peak many times, and I don't remember anyplace near the summit where the snow would have been deep enough for a decent snow cave. The summit tends to be very windswept and covered in ice.
I suspect that there will be an inquest, so more facts may come out soon. Anybody who is considering a trip on this mountain might want to pay attention.
–B.G.–Apr 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm #1593277
Here's a statement that the families offered through the Siskiyou Sheriff's office:
http://www.ktvl.com/articles/thomas-1194560-bennett-shasta.htmlApr 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm #1593303
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
Vision problems… HACE?Apr 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm #1593308
I was kind of thinking that also.
HACE or blood clot.
HACE tends to happen when the climber is up really high, like above 20,000 feet. A blood clot can happen just about anytime when you get severely dehydrated, like if your water bottle is empty or frozen and you don't like to eat tiny pieces of ice or snow.
–B.G.–Apr 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm #1593571
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
I suppose it could be a PE. At that altitude it wouldn't have to be a massive one, and I suppose that if your cardiac output took just enough of a hit it might affect your vision without killing you outright, and you could linger a while.Apr 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm #1593746
@robertm2sLocale: Lake Tahoe
Would 14,000 feet be enough to cause a pre-existing aneurism to burst?Apr 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm #1593751
14,000 feet is enough to blow anybody's gaskets, given the right bad luck situation. There was no symptom of any pre-existing condition, up to going into the snow cave. It was reported that only when they were leaving the snow cave did the victim collapse. Those guys did ascend pretty fast.
–B.G.–Apr 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm #1595558
I just heard some news. The recent death on Mount Shasta was a result of Cerebral Edema.
–B.G.–Apr 7, 2010 at 11:48 pm #1595560
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
Terrible news.Apr 8, 2010 at 12:01 am #1595568
@cbertLocale: N. California
Last summer I had trouble on the first night at only 10700 ft. Worst elevation sickness I've ever felt. Was having some neurological symptoms, like hardly being able to stand or walk a few feet without stumbling, difficulty holding or handling things, very slow thinking and loss of a lot of vocabulary, as well as some of the usual fun stuff like losing all my dinner, horrible headache and nausea, of course. We almost pulled the plug in the middle of the night and went down, but I seemed to stabilize, though due to nausea I couldn't lie down, had to sleep propped up against a rock.
Next day made the pass (12K) and then descended below 9K for night 2. Night 3 after an easy day was just under 10K. Then another pass (Muir-a bit over 12K) and a longish day for me though pretty reasonable, camping at about 10700 again where I again had similar, though not quite as severe symptoms. This really threw my confidence, as I have never, ever had any issues after the first night, and I was feeling close to as sick again as on the first night. Horrible headache & nausea, loss of strength and motor control, difficulty thinking and doing much of anything, debilitating fatigue, etc. Again slept propped against a rock.
My doc said I'd probably had some HACE the first night and that once you have it, it can take a long time to recover, that the 4th night issues were due to damage on the first night. I'm hesitant now to plan any multi night or even overnights above 10K.Apr 8, 2010 at 12:28 am #1595576
As you know, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first two men to climb Mount Everest in 1953, so they were very fit then. Much later on in life, Hillary wasn't climbing, but he continued trekking in the same areas such as the Tibetan side of Everest. Then, I think around the age of 75 or so, he was struck with High Altitude Cerebral Edema. Fortunately, he was evacuated quickly (because it can become lethal in single digit hours). Still later in life, he continued traveling into the Everest region, but (on doctors orders) he could not go high, and he could not stay long, so he mostly flew in by helicopter, shook some hands, drank some tea, and then departed.
So, HACE is a dangerous condition. It was scary for me the first time I saw it in the field above 20,000 feet.
–B.G.–Apr 8, 2010 at 8:15 am #1595648
I believe that Thomas was a poster on BPL occasionally.
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