Everest 3.0: How Did I Get from Here to Here?

This was my view from early this morning! Awesome view of Pumori, eh?

This was my view a few hours later. Bottom line. I’ll be fine. Bottom line, I have no idea what this will mean for the bigger picture and thousands of little pictures in between.

I’m guessing hindsight will show that the conditions for HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) and a bit of HACE high altitude cerebral edema) were set with me pushing to my limits too reach Camp Three and with me nursing a nasty cough since April 1.

I had a horrible night with super bad headache and coughing. I was hoping I could outplay and outlast both. We made it to the top of the icefall and descent wasn’t helping much. It was going to take double or triple the amount of time to get me through the icefall given difficulty breathing during any exertional ie slight uphill challenge. Given the extreme risk and tech difficulties, I wasn’t willing to ask my teammates and staff to face extra hours of life risk and so asked to be evacuated from just past Camp One.

I’d hoped to be flown to base camp for treatment but the Everest ER docs thought it best I be flown to definitive care.

So bottom line, I’m in Kathmandu and I’m not sure yet what will unfold. It’s hot. It’s noisy. It’s about a world away from where I want to be and still hold out some hope of getting back to. I wanted to tell all of you at once so rumours wouldn’t circulate. I’ll keep you posted. I am as you can imagine a bit discombobulated and devastated by it all. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.

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47 Responses to Everest 3.0: How Did I Get from Here to Here?

  1. Thinking about you TA. You are, as always, wise as well as driven. Hugs.

  2. Anne James says:

    Take care….sending well wishes your way.

  3. Shelagh says:

    Sending you lots of good wishes for speedy recovery and keeping you in my thoughts. One day at a time.

  4. Les Barbour says:

    TA..glad you’re ok and being taken care of. You sounded in rough shape in your audio posts from C3 and C2. Rest up, recover, get strong and hopefully you’ll be able to get back to base camp to help Hugo out with your team’s summit bit…Les

  5. Sigrid Kuehnemund says:

    Sending hugs and prayers from Newfoundland. You are such a positive light in our world; such an inspiration to follow you as you reach for your dream, even at pit stops along the way.

  6. Mtn Momma says:

    As you often say to me – work with the body you’ve got today. Take care.

  7. Leona says:

    Take care! Hope you feel better real soon!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Take care,TA. The mountain will still be there when you are better and ready for it.

  9. Patti MacPherson says:

    It’s OK honey, as long as you’re safe. Take good care.

  10. Sorry TA, I admire you tremendously but would admire you more if ‘you came home out of it’! That to me would mean that you did not quit but were courageous in making an extremely difficult decision. You have so much to offer and teach, please take care of yourself. Sending healing thoughts your way……..whatever you decide. Take care.

  11. Karen says:

    Hoping you feel better and can get back out there. Whatever happens, everyone looks up to someone who goes after their dreams. And you go after them in a big way!! Health is number one. Feel better and we will watch for updates.

  12. Marie says:

    TA, my heart goes out to you. I hold you in my thoughts and prayers as you continue the adventure.

  13. Patricia Grills says:

    Dear TA, Just breathe, take time to get healthy , a day at a time……Hugs, love & light
    Warmest regards
    Pat Grills

  14. Rosanne spence says:

    I’m sure it was a tough decision but one that had to be made. Take care of yourself. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. Hope to see you soon cuz.

  15. Marie says:

    Your health needs to be your main focus TA – you’ve done awesome!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Just take care of yourself Professor! YOU and your health come first – there’s always next year 🙂

  17. Anonymous says:

    TA, you are an inspiration & make a difference in just being who you are, whether you choose to push forward through amazing adversity or choose to step back or turn in a new direction. You inspire all of us to live lives of greatness and intentionality! My prayers and support are flying your way to help you heal and move in whatever direction that you feel it right for you. Smiles, hugs & laughter, Denise

  18. Donna Hewitt says:

    So sorry you have hit this snag. Get well.

  19. Denise Ouellette says:

    TA – You are such an inspiration & make a difference just by being you. Whether you choose to work through incredible adversity to reach for your dreams or choose a different path to turn around or head in a new direction that is better (or healthier or just different), you inspire us to reach for our highest self! You inspire us to live lives of greatness and intentionality! I am sending prayers and support flying across the continents to you. Keep as positive as you can and heal swiftly! Smiles, hugs & laughter! – Denise Ouellette

  20. Sue says:

    Big hugs from Sue (Flora’s twin). You are simply awesome!

  21. Jill says:

    Gosh, u r my hero for making it to Camp 3! From what I’ve heard, HAPE or HACE is no respecter of persons. U can be super fit n it can still happen to u. So sorry for ur disappointment n hoping u will get to go back, but if not, u r still “The Woman”! I have a young male friend who was fit n who ventured just one hour into the icefall n said it was the hardest thing he had ever tried to do – so to make it it to Camp 1 n then 2 n then 3 is kicking some major butt!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear TA , I’m with my sister ,Carolfromthecove 100% on this one. I admired you before I met you and after meeting you in Twillingate last fall I admire you even more. Then I read your book! I just couldn’t believe you were putting yourself through this again. Come home to Newfoundland. We need you to inspire us to get off our bums and take some responsibility for all our health problems. Our children especially need you.

    We admire and love you whatever you decide!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hello TA
    Sorry to hear the news, been following your progress and I can only imagine your disappointment. But, glad you are safe, take care of yourself…..seems you have a lot of friends pulling for you.

    Sylva (from the Island Peak team from a few years ago, a summit I had to abandon 200m from the top due to bronchitis that cracked a few ribs. I know it’s not the same, but the feelings are)

  24. Stephen says:

    What an inspirational effort, TA! Get well soon.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a transformation, you must be disappointed. So glad you are going to be fine. You have done 1000 more than most of us could ever do. An incredible journey even if you are not now where you planned to be – it’s still part of the journey and will generate many stories. Big hugs. Helen and Don

  26. TA, I’m sad for you because I know you’re disappointed, but glad that you are in a place where they can help you improve your health and get you on the mend. LOVE YOU and WISHING YOU peace with what unfolds for you now. BIG HUG!!!!

  27. kse says:

    You are such an inspiration! Take care of yourself.

  28. LL says:

    Your LIFE is the most important thing, but that doesn’t erase any disappointment now or potentially, I know. How hard. Just looking at you, one can see the sacrifices that you’ve made to get as far as you have. Rest now. And let the body heal. I hope you can get back up there, and will be sending all prayers. But it is good you have the wisdom to avoid true devastation. A lot of people love you and want you back. Hope you feel better soon, TA. x

  29. Jean Hewson says:

    TA myself and Frank send our best wishes for a speedy recovery regardless of what happens with Everest. Facing the possibility of not getting to the summit might seem an even higher mountain to climb…but you have a massive amount of wisdom, common sense and intuition and you will know what to do when the decision must be made. In the meantime, we are keeping our fingers, and our toes…(and even our eyes!) crossed…hoping that the universe has a bit of extra luck to send your way.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Happy to hear you are feeling better and breathing thick air. Nothing like oxygen-rich air to clear the lungs… and the brain. If you were suffering from HAPE or HACE then the decision is a no-brainer, as I imagine you know. The unexpected is always difficult at first but sometimes results in a more satisfying conclusion. If that means no summit this year, you have time to reflect and think about what happens next. Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself.

  31. Kellie says:

    Regardless or what the day brings tomorrow, we (my students, myself, my daughter & her classmates and teacher, and the other teachers and students at my school…just to name a few)look forward to continuing to follow you on your journey…wherever it may lead. Kellie et. al. (see what I did there, lol).

  32. Lisa Murphy says:

    Sending positive vibes your way TA. Must have been an incredibly difficult decision. Your resiliency has always been a huge inspiration to me. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  33. lauretta says:

    Great to hear you’re doing better. Hope you get all better soon.☺ Luke- grade. 5 St.Matthews elem.

  34. lauretta says:

    Great to hear you’re doing better. Hope you get all better real soon. From Luke grade 5 St. Matthews

  35. Garry M says:

    The chorus of the chumbwumba song was written for you… I get knocked down, but I get up again, don’t ever try to keep me down.
    I saw you a few years ago on signal hill with a heavy rucksack! Climbing the hill, not reaching the summit is my inspiration!

  36. TA Loeffler says:

    Thanks all for your kind words of encouragement and healing. After a day in the hospital, I’ve been released to continue to heal. I’ll see where the cough/climb leads and I’m open to all possibilities. The doc advised that I stay clear of high altitude but he mention I could likely join my friends who are trekking to Everest base camp (i.e. 5000 metres)…so I’m working towards that first goal and will then take it from there…

  37. Grade 4 classes at BFS says:

    Take care of yourself TA, you are our hero no matter what happens! Your Bishop Feild friends xo

  38. SusieQ says:

    Wow TA – So glad you are safe! That’s the most important part.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hello! Really sorry that you got sick. Hopefully if you want to do it again, you will succeed. Get well soon! From, Sofiya

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