So it’s 10AM Wednesday and I’ve just had a meeting with the senior IMG folks – western guides and Sherpas regarding the best course of action for me. This is where and why I choose to go with IMG… they know the mountain best and they have a wealth of situation management experience that puts them in a position to make the best call for me, even when I cannot.
The icepack on my ribs all day yesterday certainly helped but I could still feel significant pain and something pop slightly in my ribs every time I coughed. Add to that my overnight sleep, which was good – but during which the ribs seized up a little bit and once again the pain and lack of mobility were back with a vengeance this AM.
I desperately wanted to make the next rotation tomorrow AM – no matter how painful it would be to carry my backpack (not even sure how I would manage it without screaming) or how risky it would be without full mobility or use of my left arm. The logic of this desperate climber being to somehow make it to C1 tomorrow and on to C2, C3 (no idea how – but would worry about that then) over the following days, then somehow make it back to EBC and take stock of any damage done at that point.
This is where the wisdom of Greg, Jangbu, Jon, etc. comes in to play – they are of one mind on this – and that is: if I was to go back up tomorrow, I would likely end my trip – or at the very least, would not have exercised the best option available to me.
With my myopic view seeing no further than the next rotation tomorrow, I failed to count the fact that we still have another whole month to climb this mountain. With that in mind, I am advised to helicopter back down to Lukla (8k+ feet below with much thicker air – better to heal), get an X-ray of my ribs and give my body a chance to heal. The assumption being that once I am on the mend, to helicopter back up, and either rejoin Jon’s team or if that not possible due to scheduling, join another guide, Luke – who I have also climbed with before.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sorely disappointed – but am just disappointed that my body has let me down, not at all at the expert advice of the IMG crew – which I am only too happy to follow. In my heart of hearts I know it is the right decision.
I can only hope that given the opportunity, my body can heal sufficiently – and in time – to get back up here and summit this mountain. Perhaps false bravado – but after what I have seen so far, I truly believe that with my health I can make the summit.
So – my apologies to anyone following if this blog goes a little quiet or dull for a few days – I will most certainly let folks know the outcome of my X-ray, etc. but I hope to quickly move from Himalayan ER back to our regular programming – i.e. Climbing this damn mountain!!
Thanks for you patience and continued support – I don’t plan on letting you down – and I hope to still make you all proud and yet make the summit.