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with Stefan Nestler

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The “Third Man”

After having met the “Third Man” on Putha Hiunchuli (in 2011)

I have experienced it myself. It happened in fall 2011 during my failed summit attempt on the 7,246-meter-high Putha Hiunchuli in western Nepal, somewhere above 7,000 meters. My teammates were out of reach, I was fighting my way up alone, physically and mentally at the limit. “Please!,” I suddenly heard Pemba Nuru, one of our two Climbing Sherpas, say behind me. “Please what?,” I asked and turned around. But nobody was there. Strange. Scientists call the phenomenon the “Third Man”. Descriptions of such hallucinations abound in expedition reports from the highest mountains in the world. Psychiatrists of the Medical University of Innsbruck and emergency physicians of the private research center “Eurac Research” in Bolzano have now examined about 80 such descriptions from alpine literature and discovered, according to their own information, a new disease: the “isolated high-altitude psychosis”.


16. December 2017 | 17:12



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