Monday, September 5, 2011

I Have One Week to Get Well

After rappelling to the glacier in the dark from the top of Tso Kangri,  I was obviously sick from sinus infection that is pretty typical for me to get at high altitude,  but this was worse than anything I had experienced before.  I was unusually tired for the amount of work that we had done and I was short of breath and coughing up phlegm while skiing back to ABC.  It was still too warm to head up on Sasser Kangri II yet,  but things would start to cool off as we were getting into late August and I needed to get healthy quickly if I wanted to have a chance to climb SKII.  The best way to do that was to descend as low as I could for the next week and get myself on a good antibiotic.  I left ABC on August 1st and skied to base camp for a rest.  But base camp is still at 17,000 feet which is pretty high for a speedy recovery so I decided to walk all the way down to the road in the Nubra valley which is at 10,000 feet and spend some time recovering there at the Rimo Hotel.  After a rest day at base camp I walked with Tinless on the 3rd to the Nubra Valley hoping that I could slowly bring myself back to the health and strength I would need to climb to nearly 25,000 feet in relatively short order.  I spent the first few days resting, but on August 9th I awoke feeling dizzy and decided that I would go visit the hospital to see a doctor in Diskit - about a 90 minute drive from the hotel.

Services at the Hospital in Diskit

Doctor listening to my chest

The doctor there together with a phone conversation with my friend in Bozeman, Dr Brownie Schoene diagnosed me with a sinus infection that was also blocking my Eustachian tube from my ear which was causing me the dizziness.  They put me on a different antibiotic and so all I needed to do now was wait.  Sasser Kangri II seemed like a long ways away right now.  After another couple days I started to walk around the neighborhood.  Behind the hotel was a working monastery and school so I would visit with the monks and have some tree ripe apricots from their trees.

Monks at the Samtanling Monastery

The Ladakhi villagers were friendly as well.

Ladakhi mother

By August 12th Kirsten, Emily, and Janet came down with Mark and Freddie to the Nubra Valley.  The group had a great week climbing three new peaks while I was convalescing and now it was time for women to head home. 

Kirsten Kremer, Emily Drinkwater, and Janet Bergman

The weather was stormy so Freddie and Mark decided to rest in Nubra a few more days, but I was anxious to get back to base camp and readjust to the altitude and be ready for our next attempt on Sasser Kangri II.  I was feeling better and hopeful that as I moved back up I would stay healthy.

Heading back to base camp
If I can stay healthy and we get some weather then just maybe...........

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