Himalaya Update: Rescue on Makalu!

ExWeb posted an update on Santiago Quintero, who earlier this week was reportedly suffering from altitude sickness and was stranded at Camp 3 on Makalu. Today Santiago was assisted down the mountain by a group of Sherpas and climbers, and is now resting in base camp.

Last Sunday the Ecuadorian climber reached the summit of Makalu without bottled oxygen. His ascent was quite rapid, as he arrived in Camp 3 at 6:30PM the night before, rested for four hours, then set off for the 12 hour climb to the summit. He arrived two hours ahead of the cut off time and spent some time at the summit. After that he began to experience the effects of HACE and had to be helped down the mountain to high camp by Ralf Dujmovits. He remained in Camp 3 for the past few days, where he received aid from other climbers, but it wasn’t until today that an organized team was able to go up and help him down the mountain.

This isn’t the first rough experience that Santiago has had in the mountains. Back in 2002 he contracted frostbite while on a solo climb of Aconcagua, and lost many of his toes. ExWeb notes that if he recovers fine from this episode on Makalu, he intends to go after K2 next year.

From the sound of things, everything is good now, and he should be begin to recover quite nicely now that he is back at lower altitudes. I’m glad to hear that he’s down safe and sound and hopefully he’ll recover fully soon so he can begin planning his K2 expedition. Get well Santiago!

Kraig Becker

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