Two climbers suffering from altitude sickness rescued

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The National Park Service's high-altitude helicopter rescued two climbers from the 17,200-foot high camp on Mount McKinley Saturday after they suffered altitude sickness.

The climbers were identified as William Ross, 45, and Rich Gustafson, 34, both from Bend, Ore.

They were taken to the base camp at 7,200 feet and then flown by the Alaska Air National Guard to an Anchorage hospital, the Park Service said.

Both climbers were suffering from high-altitude pulmonary edema and high-altitude cerebral edema, conditions that result from a lack of oxygen and can lead to death. A rapid return to lower elevations and medical treatment are essential to recovery, the Park Service said.

Both climbers were on guided trips on the West Buttress. The rescue was the fourth this climbing season.

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