A 40 year old man had an episode of severe pulmonary oedema at 4000-5000 m during the ascent of the Margherita peak (5109 m) of Mount Stanley on the Ruwenzori. He had taken acetazolamide and high dose dexamethasone to treat symptoms of acute mountain sickness. Six years before he had been studied by right heart catheterisation as a healthy volunteer during hypoxic breathing at sea level. His pulmonary vascular reactivity had been within the normal range for 32 healthy subjects. This man had high altitude pulmonary oedema despite currently recommended treatments for acute mountain sickness and normal pulmonary vascular reactivity to hypoxia at sea level.