- by cnn
- 28 Nov 2023
Gelje Sherpa was on his way to the top of the world's highest mountain when he spotted the climber clinging to the rope.
They were in the "death zone," an area near the summit of Mount Everest where temperatures are extremely low and where there isn't enough oxygen to breathe unaided for more than a few minutes.
The climber, from Malaysia, had "nothing" and was "about to die," the 30-year-old Nepali mountain guide told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview Thursday. "No one was helping him, no friends, no oxygen, no Sherpas with him, no guides - so this is quite dangerous for him."
Other climbers and guides "just focused on the summit," he said - wary of stopping at an altitude where the body is rapidly deteriorating and where many Everest fatalities occur.
Already this year, 12 people have died and five are missing on Everest as the spring climbing season comes to an end, according to Nepali officials.
Gelje - Nepali Sherpas traditionally go by their first names - was guiding a client to the 8,849-meter (29,032 feet) summit when he made a decision: they would abandon their journey in a bid to save the Malaysian climber.
It was a near-impossible task: Gelje had to strap the climber to his back and carry him down 600 meters (1,900 feet) for about six hours before another guide joined the rescue, Reuters reported.
Premier announces changes to long-delayed projectread more