American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

HAPE, Washington, Mount Rainier, Fuhrer's Finger

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

HAPE

Washington, Mount Rainier, Fuhrer's Finger

Tim Hartman contacted Mount Rainier National Park at 7:08 a.m. on August 12 to report that his partner Neil Shriner (41) was very ill. Shriner’s symptoms included difficulty breathing, gurgling lung sounds, and dizziness when standing. Hartman and Shriner had climbed to 12,000 feet on the Fuhrer Finger route the previous day, setting up their camp when Shriner started to feel sick. His condition deteriorated during the night. Hartman believed that his partner was suffering from High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and that they would need a rescue, as Shriner was unable to move safely.

A helicopter rescue was effected by park rangers by 3:30 p.m. At Madigan Hospital, he was diagnosed with HAPE. (Source: Mike Gauthier, SAR Ranger, Mount Ranier National Park)

Analysis

This report is included to remind us that High Altitude Pulmonary Edema can come on quickly, even at moderate altitude. (Source: Jed Williamson)

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