In an extraordinary feat, a Nepali sherpa rescued a Malaysian climber from the “death zone” of Mount Everest, which is the area above 8,000m on the world’s tallest peak.
According to a report in The Independent, 36-year-old Gelje Sherpa was on his way to the summit with a Chinese client on May 18 when he saw a Malaysian mountaineer who was unable to move and was shivering in the extreme cold.
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Gelje rose to the occasion and carried the climber on his back for close to six hours and brought him down to a lower camp for medical aid. The rescue is seen as a “very rare” accomplishment at an altitude where atmospheric oxygen is so low that cells in the human body start dying without extra oxygen support.
Gelja posted a video on Instagram and narrated a first hand account of the incident: “You may all be wondering where is the summit photo? Unfortunately, no summit yet. At the Balcony during our summit push around 8,300m I saw someone in danger. A man who needed rescuing and no one else was helping. I made the decision to cancel our clients summit push so that I could bring him down to safety before he died up there alone. I carried him myself all the way down to Camp 4 where a rescue team helped from then on. I will be back up the mountain soon after regaining energy from a huge task but I am so happy to say he is alive and recovering in hospital.”