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DO YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK? four days ago, and after months of planning an innovative high altitude mountaineering traverse involving climbing two virgin peaks from the summit of Chulu Far East, we turned back as we thought the snow conditions to be unsafe. Later that night, lying exhausted in my tent, I couldn’t ignore the hard breathing whilst at rest, and a wheezy cough that had developed the same evening. In a short time, I realized I had HAPE- high altitude pulmonary edema, a potentially lethal high altitude medical condition where your lungs fill with liquid leaked from it’s capillaries. I downed my mix of Diamox and Adalat and kept monitoring myself until symptoms eased off at 11pm.I awoke after a surprisingly good sleep with a still rattly cough, but eager to descend quickly ( the best choice for HAPE). Looking back, you always need a little luck with a climb- the weather, the route etc. But much of the luck is about the experience over years in making the right call in situations. Making a nuanced decision- doing the homework on training, nutrition and situational awareness . I have a ‘small’ summit, had bags of fun re-living two decades of climbing with MB Tamang, and came back intact. . Hard to ask for more..once again many thanks to Caffe Bene, GNC and Turbomed Orthotics

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