American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Pulmonary Edema—Alaska, Mt. McKinley

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1977

PULMONARY EDEMA—Alaska, Mt. McKinley. Charles Gasser (20) was part of a six-person expedition ascending Mount McKinley via the Muldrow Glacier route. They began their climb from Kantishna on April 22, 1976. At 7 a.m. on May 18, Gasser began showing signs of high altitude pulmonary edema. The group was at 15,000 feet on the Harper Glacier at the time. (Source: Bob Gerhard, McKinley Park.)

Analysis. Gasser became ill 26 days after beginning the climb—certainly enough time to become acclimatized. Pulmonary edema can occur at any time, (source: Bob Gerhard, McKinley Park.)

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