Sherpa Stops To Save Climber In Mt Everest’s “Death Zone”

A Nepali sherpa put his mountaineering mission on hold to rescue a distressed climber in the "death zone" of Mount Everest. Gelje Sherpa was guiding a client up the 29-thousand-foot ascent on May 18th when he spotted another climber in danger at about 27,000 feet. “I saw a person stranded alone on the ridge,” the seasoned 30-year-old sherpa recalls. “He was frozen and trembling, and no one else seemed to be aware of his presence.”

The struggling Malaysian climber was located in what’s referred to as the death zone due to its dangerously low oxygen levels and he would likely have died if it weren’t for Gelje’s decision to sacrifice a chance to reach the summit to help him. “I chose to bring him down because rescuing him was my priority,” the sherpa says. “Money can be earned later.”

Gelje carried the climber on his back for six hours, descending almost 2-thousand feet to Base Camp 4. From there, he was assisted by fellow guide Nima Tahi Sherpa. The two men took turns, at times carrying the climber on their backs or pulling him in a makeshift sled down to Camp 3. The climber was then airlifted to a hospital in Kathmandu. Gelje shared the story on social media and says he’s happy to say the man “is alive and recovering in hospital.”


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