AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

California, Inyo National Forest, Shadow Lake Area

California, Inyo National Forest, Shadow Lake Area. On 24 August a party from “Outward Bound” from Pasadena left Agnew Meadow (8,600 ft.) and camped at a small lake (8,200 ft.) about two miles from the end of the road. A 17-year-old member of the party complained of not feeling well. The next day they continued towards Shadow Lake (9,000 ft.). Here the boy became progressively worse and lapsed into a coma in the late afternoon. He had been seen by a physician who diagnosed his condition as pneumonia and gave him an injection. The victim died in the night.

Source: Thomas H. Jukes

Analysis: This is probably a case of high altitude pulmonary edema. It indicates the potential hazard of going from sea-level to only moderate altitude and doing physical exertion without adequate time allowed for proper adaptation.