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I wouldn’t know it at the time, but I set off up to camp two with sinusitis and an infection in my gum. I made it but it wasn’t pretty. From the minute we set off from the base camp, I was feeling tired. By the time we reached Camp 1, I was extremely fatigued and had to lay down in the tent straight away. I had a strong headache and felt dizzy.

The next morning, I felt slightly better but sleeping at 6300m hadn’t helped my underlying conditions at all. We made the short journey to camp two. It’s actually a relatively easy journey to reach the second camp on Makalu but it felt very difficult to me on this day. Each step was an effort to reach the 6,600m Camp 2. With just a few steps remaining, I threw up outside Camp 2. I felt worse than the night before.

No fluid or food I ate could be kept down, not even water. I threw up another four times at Camp 2. An extremely windy night didn’t help my headache and illness but I survived nonetheless thanks to some care from Pema the nurse.

The next morning, without having any food or water inside my system, we made the journey back down to base camp. I was dizzy and lightheaded. Walking down the slopes, I was constantly out of breath. We made it back down to base camp (5,800m) and I could eat and drink again.

A day later, I had strong pain in my teeth and gum and it got worse and worse. During the night, it got so bad that my face started to go numb on the left side. I decided between the headache and the infection that this was getting too painful, which is saying something for me. I called in my Global Rescue helicopter service and they agreed to pick me up in the morning to take me to Kathmandu. There I would get the treatment I needed and if possible, return to Makalu. What a bloody debacle.

The strange thing is that I found reaching Camp 2 so easy other than the headache and illness. Let’s see if I can get back out there.

Throughout all of this, I still managed to shoot and even flew the drone while dizzy as all hell at Camp 2. Here are some of my favorite shots from the rotation.