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Nepali Sherpa Heroically Rescues Climber from Everest's 'Death Zone'

Nepal Travel advice & Safety
Mountain Sherpa Admin
Jun 02, 2023

Nepali Sherpa Heroically Rescues Climber from Everest's 'Death Zone'

"Gelje Sherpa, a 30-year-old from Solukhumbu, successfully rescued a Malaysian mountaineer who was stranded near the 'death zone' of Mount Everest.

Sherpas managed to rescue the Malaysian mountaineer, known as 'Ravi,' near the South Pole on May 18. Rescuing someone from this area on Mount Everest is considered impossible. Officials from the Tourism Department have referred to Gelje's rescue of the Malaysian citizen as a 'miracle'."

In a remarkable and daring act, Nepali Sherpa guide Gelje Sherpa discovered a Malaysian climber in a perilous state within the treacherous "death zone" of Mount Everest, where temperatures can plummet to -30°C. Despite the immense challenges posed by the high altitude, Gelje Sherpa undertook the courageous task of carrying the climber down from an elevation of 8,500 meters over a grueling six-hour period. Nepali tourism official Bigyan Koirala emphasized the rarity and difficulty of such a rescue operation, highlighting the extraordinary nature of Gelje Sherpa's heroic act.

The Sherpa's selfless act of bravery amidst extreme conditions has captured global attention and serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Sherpa community. This inspiring rescue highlights the vital role Sherpas play in mountaineering and their unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety of climbers on the world's highest peak.

Gelje's 'miracle' saved the Malaysian climber from the death zone.

A Nepali Sherpa guide heroically saved a Malaysian climber's life in a rare high-altitude rescue on Mount Everest, according to a government official. Gelje Sherpa, 30, was leading a Chinese client to the summit on May 18 when he discovered the Malaysian climber in distress. The climber was clinging to a rope and suffering from extreme cold in the perilous "death zone," where temperatures can plummet to -30°C or lower. Gelje Sherpa undertook a remarkable six-hour effort, hauling the climber 600 meters down from the Balcony to the South Col, with the assistance of another guide named Nima Tashi Sherpa.
According to Department of Tourism official Bigyan Koirala, rescuing climbers at such high altitudes is nearly impossible and considered a very rare operation. Gelje Sherpa, the heroic guide, made the decision to convince his Chinese client to abandon the summit attempt in order to prioritize the rescue of the Malaysian climber. Gelje, a devoted Buddhist, expressed that saving a life held greater significance than personal accomplishments such as praying at the monastery.

Demonstrating immense compassion and selflessness, Gelje Sherpa made the courageous decision to persuade his Chinese client to abandon their summit attempt and descend the mountain in order to prioritize the rescue of the stranded climber. Gelje firmly believed that preserving a life held far greater significance than any personal achievement, expressing this sentiment by stating, "Saving one life is more important than praying at the monastery," a reflection of Gelje's deep-rooted Buddhist values. His noble actions serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of human kindness and the unwavering commitment to the well-being of others.

During this year's climbing season from March to May, Nepal issued a record-breaking 478 permits for Mount Everest. Unfortunately, the season also witnessed a tragic toll, with at least 12 climbers losing their lives, marking the highest number of fatalities in eight years. Additionally, five climbers remain missing on the slopes of Everest. These incidents serve as a reminder of the inherent risks and challenges associated with mountaineering in such extreme conditions.

The story of Gelje Sherpa received extensive coverage from major news outlets such as CNN, BBC, ABC, CNBC, Sky, Al Jazeera, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Deutsche Welle, and NHK.

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