Nepali Sherpa saves Malaysian climber found hanging from a rope in Everest's death zone

He carried the Malaysian man on his back for six hours after convincing his Chinese client to give up attempting the summit to save a life.

Keyla Supharta | June 02, 2023, 10:54 AM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

A Nepali Sherpa guide saved a Malaysian climber who was found shivering and hanging from a rope at Mount Everest's death zone, where temperatures can get to as low as -30°C.

"Death zone" is the nickname of the area above the last camp South Col located at 8,000 metres.

The final and most difficult part of the Everest climb is notorious for its thin air, high winds and treacherous icy slopes, which coupled with exhaustion, make any rescue almost impossible.

The death zone rescue on May 18, 2023, was a rare exception.

Convinced client to give up summit attempt to rescue climber

According to Aljazeera, the Malaysian climber was clinging to a rope in the extreme weather when he met 30-year-old Gelje Sherpa who was guiding a Chinese client to the 8,849-metre summit of Mount Everest.

Gelje, a devout Buddhist, convinced his client to give up his summit attempt so that he could rescue the climber.

"Saving one life is more important than praying at the monastery," Gelje told his client.

The area in the death zone can get to as low as -30°C, sometimes even lower.

Gelje posted a video of the rare Everest rescue on his Instagram:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gelje Sherpa (@gelje_sherpa_)

"I saw someone in danger," Gelje wrote in a caption.

"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."

Carried climber for over six hours

Gelje wrapped the climber in a sleeping mat and carried him back to Camp 4, where a rescue team joined to help.

According to Aljazeera, Gelje carried the climber for over six hours.

Image via Great Tibet Tour.

They then took turns carrying him on their backs or dragging him on the snow to Camp 3, where a helicopter used a long line to lift the climber to base camp.

"It is a very rare operation," Department of Tourism official Bigyan Koirala told Reuters. "It is almost impossible to rescue climbers at that altitude".

12 deaths on Mount Everest this year

At least 12 people died while attempting to conquer Mount Everest this year-- the highest number for eight years.

On May 19, 39-year-old Singaporean climber Shrinivas Sainis was reported missing after reaching the summit of Mount Everest.

A week later, on May 27, Shrinivas's wife informed the public that the search and rescue team was unable to locate her husband.

Top image via @gelje_sherpa_/Instagram.