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Irish climber safely evacuated from high camp
12:00 p.m. EDT May 5, 2003
George from Pat Falvey's Irish Everest expedition just called in to base camp from Kathmandu. He is recovering well and thanks all of those that helped with his rescue, his teammates, the Sherpa team, and the staff at the base camp medical clinic.

This past weekend George had to be evacuated from Everest after he came down with HACE while high on the mountain. He had been battling Altitude-related symptoms for some time, "(George) has not managed a decent night's sleep in 5 weeks." On the last trip up to the high camps George began to lose his appetite and started to lag behind. On May 3rd he made it to Camp III, 7200m; however, this grueling trip took the last out of him.

After descending back down to Camp II, 6800m, George began to feel better, but it was short lived. The whole crew decided to descend fast. It was an entire team effort and a struggle for George to navigate his way down. At the top of the icefall, "..we have to get down, I know I can do it but I need help. He knew he had no other alternative but to hold consciousness."

Through the icefall George fainted three times, but his teammates were there to support and help him through one of the trickiest parts of the mountain. At the foot of the icefall the Sherpa cooks bearing flasks of warm juice came to meet him and the team.

George was taken to the base camp clinic and was treated for HACE with medication and the Gamow Bag. The following morning he was evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu where he is now recovering.

From the expedition, “The team, including our sherpas rallied around George while he was unwell. Having been such a close team for the past 7-8 weeks, it is extremely upsetting to see a team member that unwell. However, we know that he is now in safe hands and will recover within the next couple of days.”

Image of base camp helicopter evacuation courtesy of Irish Everest 2003

The South Side Irish Everest 2003 expedition is being led by Everest summiter Pat Falvey. Their objectives are to have the first Irish female ascent, first Irish ascent from Nepal, and to have the first Irish climber to summit from both the North and South Side of Everest.

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