Rescued Climber Gave Her Shoe to Hallucination

Elisabeth Revol describes 'Killer Mountain' ordeal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2018 4:23 AM CST
Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world, is seen in Pakistan's northern area.   (AP Photo/Musaf Zaman Kazmi, File)
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(Newser) – French climber Elisabeth Revol says that as she sheltered in a crevasse on Pakistan's "Killer Mountain," she thought people were bringing her hot tea—and she felt obliged to give them one of her shoes in return. In reality, she was alone, suffering altitude-induced hallucinations as she waited for a rescue team. Revol, who was brought down in a dramatic rescue effort Sunday, says she managed to reach the peak of 26,660-foot Nanga Parbat with climbing partner Tomasz Mackiewicz, but after they called for help, rescuers urged her to descend alone, Guardian reports. She says it was "terrible and painful" to leave Mackiewicz, who was weak, couldn't see, and was bleeding from the mouth because of acute mountain sickness.

Revol, who is now recovering in a French hospital, tells AFP that she thought help would arrive quickly after she followed instructions to descend to around 20,000 feet, but she ended up spending a night sheltering with no tent or duvet in a crevasse, where she had the hallucinations—and woke up missing her left shoe. After hearing helicopters, she descended further, despite frozen feet, and met a Polish rescue team. They were unable to reach Mackiewicz, who is believed to have died on the mountain. Doctors say Revol, 37, might require amputations to her hands and left foot because of frostbite, the BBC reports. But when asked if she would ever climb again, Revol said: "I think I will. I need this." (Two climbers were lost on Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth-highest mountain, last year.)

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