The bassist was taking part in a charity climb up Mt. Rainier
McKagan has revealed in his column for the Seattle Weekly that his recent climb for The Heroes Project nearly went very badly wrong after he had to be rushed down the mountain from 12,800 after a suspected "cerebral edema".
He was taking part in the climb with Cpl. Kionte Storey, who lost his right leg in Afghanistan a year ago. The Heroes Project supports veterans and military families.
McKagan had been invited to take part in the climb to help raise awareness of the project and despite a lot of training there was some drama close to the summit.
"At 12,000 feet, both my eyes went blurry, and nausea was overcoming me. It was a sort of step, step, heave . . . step, step, heave type of gait. But I still felt strong, and I hoped that this phase would pass. Just keep going, Duff . . . it ain't about you. Don't be "that guy." Think of punk rock. Think martial arts. Think of your family, and think of Kionte.
"At about 12,800 feet, a guide from another climb came up to me and announced that he thought I had a cerebral edema "and could die soon if he doesn't get down very quickly." Hey climber-dude-alarmist-guy . . . chill the f*** out. Without me really realizing it, I guess my eyes were rolling around a bit and I was stumbling like a drunken sailor. What the?! I felt strong as a bull! Kionte went into "Marine mode," and it was time to turn this climb around. The mission was now to get your erstwhile columnist down the damn mountain. Heaving, stumbling, and talking nonsense (I guess)."
You can read McKagan's column HERE