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Word at last!

Hi all, sorry for the long absence. Finally some brief internet access.

First up, no. I turned around at 8500 metres, just a few hundred metres from the summit, due to some early but very strong signs of HACE (high altitude cerebral oedema). Symptoms – double vision, vomiting, micro sleeps (whilst climbing!), falling and hallucinations (giant bats). Of course it had to be HACE if there were giant bats up there – it’s not the fruit season yet!

I knew that launching the summit push from camp 3 at 8300 metres without oxygen was putting me at significant exposure to the onset of oedema but the shape of the mountain dictates the location of the camps. In any case, being alone on the mountain, I was lucky enough to recognise my own symptoms rather than being overwhelmed by them, so I took some medication and descended. All is well.

I shall put up a more comprehensive despatch shortly.

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