When you're summiting the world's tallest mountain threats to your safety
can come from a lot of different directions, from falls, and avalanches to
cerebral edema, serious dangers abound. Some threats are more subtle than
others, but no less dangerous when life and death are as keenly balanced as
they are on Everest.
For Paul Obert, an MD and ear, nose and throat specialist, the danger
appeared ironically enough as an attack of acute bacterial sinusitis during a
summit attempt. Fortunately an antibiotic cleared up the infection in a few
days and he continued his climb. With his successful summit on May 30, 2003
Dr. Obert completed the seventh and last climb of the "The Seven Summits."
Dr. Obert was trained in Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) at the
University of Texas and in general surgery at the University of Oregon. He has
three children, a 15 year-old son, a 21 year-old daughter and a 20 year-old
son who is also a climber.