Archive for August, 2009

Injury Report and General Update

August 31st, 2009

At long last I’ve finished a report on what happened to me on Mount Everest. You can read the report here. If you have any corrections please contact me at and I’ll revise the document as needed.

I’m now nearly 3 weeks out from surgery. I had all 60+ stitches removed last Thursday. It wasn’t fun but now I can wear shoes and socks for the first time in three months. This helps with walking considerably. I’m wearing some lovely Isotoner gloves on my hands to help reduce fluid retention. My knuckles are still swollen and my fingers are very weak; my forearm muscles have disappeared over the months. So I spend a lot of time flexing my fingers and working to get my range of motion back. My thumbs did not undergo surgery but they still have scabs at the tips.

I’m doing a lot of things very slowly. Between the shortened fingers and the gloves I really have to think about what I’m doing. I’m back on the exercise bike and will be doing as much non-impact aerobic activity as I can to get my general level of fitness to where I can put in a full day’s work.

I’m not going to post any photos of my hands and feet; I’d rather deal with my injuries in terms of what I can do rather than how I look. While I will occasionally mention a significant milestone in my recovery, this pretty much ends my 2009 Everest expedition account. I thank you all for your wonderful support and best wishes over the past few months.

Here’s a photo of me with Bernice Notenboom and Walter Laserer in Kathmandu. They found me at nearly 8400m and took precious time out of their ascent to care for me, for which I will always be grateful. See my report for a full listing of those who helped me.


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Five days out

August 17th, 2009

Still in the hospital. Healing ok, but the chance of infection is too high to take any risks. Every day the dr squeezes the digit tips to expel any fluid containing infectious critters; today, no fluid! I’m given morphine and Versed, which send me to la-la land for a few hours. The biggest problem right now is some swelling that prevents urination so I have to relearn how to pee tomorrow. Otherwise I watch TV. I’m checking email but don’t be surprised if I don’t respond to your emails for a while.

Thanks again for your support. Surgery went as well as could be expected.

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Surgery Done

August 13th, 2009

Mike had surgery on Tuesday and is now going through a painful healing process. His hands and feet are completely wrapped and he is not supposed to put any weight on them for a few days. Kathy (his wife) is sending this message because Mike can’t hold on to anything from the TV remote to silverware or a pencil to punch out a computer message. We think Mike will come home sometime this weekend and he will send a post when he can.

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Surgery on Tuesday

August 10th, 2009

Tuesday is the Big Day. I’m having surgery that morning. I’ll try and put up a post in a few days to confirm that all went well. I’ll be in the hospital for about four days. No more black bits and no more stinky hands and feet!

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Two good books

August 7th, 2009

Neil Heil’s ‘Dark Summit’ and Lincoln Hall’s ‘Dead Lucky’ both describe events on the northside of Everest in 2006. Hall’s book talks about his person experiences (surviving a night out high on the north ridge after developing cerebral edema) while Heil covers the entire tragic season (11 deaths I think).

Also, famed Italian alpinist Ricardo Cassin died yesterday at the age of 100. Ciao, baby.

Photos: Namche Bazaar is the capital of Sherpaland This horse had to wait nerly 15 minutes to get into the Danfe Bar, Namche Bazaar



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