On the morning of April 28, 2012, climber and photographer Cory Richards—on a reconnaissance trek near Everest's West Shoulder—began to experience chest pains and difficulty breathing. After hiking down to reach Camp 2, where other members of his team were gathered, his condition worsened over the next few hours.
His fellow climbers knew they had to get him off the mountain.
First they planned to move Cory down to Camp 1, where a helicopter could pick him up. Strapped to a flat sled and fitted with an oxygen bottle, Cory was pulled along the frozen ground by ten men. When the sled could not be dragged across the deep crevasses, Cory got out and walked across the chasm-spanning ladders on his own.
By the time they reached Camp 1, though, poor weather made a helicopter rescue too risky. The group decided to keep moving Cory all the way back down to Base Camp. Despite the dangerous conditions there, the helicopter was able to land.
Cory arrived safely that night in Lukla, Nepal. He moved the next day to a hospital in Kathmandu for tests. He is receiving advice from the finest experts in high-altitude medicine and is feeling much better.