2007 Ecuador High-Altitude Climbing Trip
"Tracy! Focus on me. One foot in front of the other. We'll take it slow, you'll be okay, but we have to go down now." Jason stated in a calm, but strong, manner.
"I can't breathe. I need to lie down." Tracy sputtered through labored breathing, as she slumped to the ground, lying parallel to the frozen surface of the summit of Cotopaxi at 19,347 feet above sea level. Similar scenes had played their course through by mind in the months leading up to my first high-altitude climbing trip. Void of personal high-altitude experience, my role-plays developed heroically, as if altitude sickness were a demon to be crushed on the way to each summit. The real experience was sharply different—it was scary. (read more...)