The legend of sweet death

by Tom Markiewicz on March 28, 2005 has an article on phenomena of “sweet death”.

After last year’s Everest season, climbers trickled in to ExWeb’s office bringing with them tales of summits but also some alarming news. All over the mountain, climbers had been falling asleep. All had been shook awake by Sherpas; most weren’t aware how close to death they’d been. Almost all were novices to 8000+ altitude. They didn’t feel cold, or thirsty, or too tired. They just had an overpowering urge to sit down, close their eyes – and rest for a while.

Discussed are mountain illnesses and how they progress including the following details: “When dying a ‚??sweet death‚??, you feel an innocent desire to lie down and sleep. A certain feeling of wellness overcomes you. And with a sardonic ‚??Mona Lisa‚?? smile on your face, you die.”


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