Peak(s):  Ellingwood Point  -  14,042 feet
Date Posted:  03/25/2012
Date Climbed:   03/22/2012
Author:  Artvandalay

 Blinded by the Light.....  

So I know there's a more recent TR up here for this area but I thought that my experience may be one that others may benefit from. I suffered a nasty case of snow blindness that had I known could have occurred I would have turned back. The summit was not worth what I experienced that night and the following day. Though much fun preceded the chaos, the result was something that I had no idea could even happen.

3-4 hours of direct sun exposure on unprotected eyes yielded the most intense pain I can ever remember having. Enjoy!

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 Comments or Questions

03/26/2012 03:22
Wow, that sounds pretty terrible. I've gotten bad sunburns, but never snowblindness. One benefit of wearing glasses is that they block UV rays.

Layne Bracy

03/26/2012 13:29
In 2003, I had a similar experience, also on a snow-covered Ellingwood Pt! (My sunglasses had been stolen in Nepal, and I hadn't replaced them.) As I drove north on I-25 the oncoming headlights were like lasers in my eyes, as was the flashlight of the cop who pulled me over in Denver. After 10 minutes I convinced him I wasn't drunk, and he let me sleep it off!


Me too...
03/26/2012 20:12
I had a pretty nasty bout of snowblindness on McKinley, really painful and miserable. I'm not positive but it may make you more susceptible to it in the future; I know my eyes don't tolerate extended exposure even at lower altitudes. I get bloodshot eyes, etc. I now wear only Cat 4 sunglasses in the mountains. Hope you're better, thanks for posting.

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