Nepali guide rescues climber from Everest death zone - GulfToday

Nepali guide rescues climber from Everest death zone


A Nepali guide rescues a Malaysian climber. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. File photo

A Nepali guide abandoned his client's Everest summit bid to rescue a Malaysian climber in a deadly mountaineering season that has seen at least twelve deaths.

Gelje Sherpa was guiding a Chinese client to the 8,849-metre (29,032-feet) peak and planned to assist him to paraglide down.

Instead, only a few hundred metres from the summit, they came across a lone man clinging to a rope and shivering in the area known as the "death zone".

The area above 8,000 metres has earned its name because of its thin air, freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels that heighten the risk of altitude sickness. It is also notorious for its difficult terrain.

"When I found him in that state, my heart did not let me leave him there," Sherpa told the media.


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Many other climbers had walked past the man that day, but he declined to criticise them.

"It is a place where you have to think of your survival first," he said.

Sherpa told his client — who will have paid at least $45,000 to attempt Everest, including a permit fee of $11,000 — to return without a summit.

"When I decided to go down, my client did not agree at first. Of course, he was there after spending a lot of money, it must have been his dream for years and he had to find time to come here to climb.

"He got angry and said he wanted to go to the summit.

"I had to scold him and tell him that he has to descend because he was my responsibility and I couldn't send him to the summit on his own. He got upset."

He explained that he wanted to take the sick man down the mountain.

"Then he realised that by 'rescue' I meant that I wanted to save him. He understood and then he apologised later."

Agence France-Presse

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