Membership, Mountain Medicine, UIAA

The UIAA Medical Commission (MedCom) has paid tribute to its former member and longstanding associate Jim Milledge who passed away on 9 February aged 91.

“Jim was a great pioneer in the field of high altitude medicine, and a role model for many climbers, high altitude physicians, researchers and friends. We will remember Jim fondly as a person with vision and a great thirst for knowledge,” said current MedCom President Urs Hefti.

As a tribute to Jim identified in August 2020 on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he had been involved in high altitude medicine and physiology since serving as a member of Sir Edmund Hillary’s “Silver Hut” expedition in 1960-61.

Alongside his career as in medicine, primarily as a hospital physician, Jim dedicated significant time to high altitude research. After retiring in 1995, he became a founder member of Medical Expeditions (MEDEX) and a faculty member of the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM).

During his association with the UIAA which ran from the early 2000s to co-authoring mountain medicine papers as recently as 2018, Jim played an important role in the creation of a number of publications including Portable Hyperbaric Chambers, AMS/HAPE/HACE and Water Disinfection in the Mountains. He was one of the authors of the recent UIAA paper on Diabetes.

Jim Milledge was one of a number of British Mountaineering Council (BMC) delegates to lend their expertise to MedCom. He enjoyed a close relationship with other BMC MedCom members including Jeremy Windsor and former MedCom President David Hillebrandt.

Jim’s memoir can be viewed here. To read David Hillebrandt’s tribute on the BMC website click here.

Main photo: Breakfast, Milledge and Lahiri, 4600m 1964. Photo: Unknown. Courtesy of Alpine Club