A Malaysian climber was saved from the “death zone” of Mount Everest by Nepali Sherpa guides and another climber.
Gelje Sherpa, 30, was guiding a client to the Everest summit on 18 May when he noticed the Malaysian climber clinging to a rope and shivering from the freezing temperatures.
Springing into action, the pair managed to wrap the climber in a sleeping mat and drag him over 600m (1,900ft) down from an area of the mountain known as the Balcony, to the South Col – the point between Mount Everest and Lhotse (the world’s fourth-highest mountain).
They had been travelling for around six hours before Ngima Tashi Sherpa, another guide, joined the rescue.
“We wrapped the climber in a sleeping mat, dragged him on the snow or carried him in turns on our backs to camp III,” said Gelje Sherpa.
“Saving one life is more important than praying at the monastery.”
A helicopter then lifted the climber – who is not named for privacy reasons – from the 7,162m (23,500ft) high camp III down to base camp.
“It is almost impossible to rescue climbers at that altitude,” Bigyan Koirala, an official for the department of tourism, said.
“It is a very rare operation.”
Out of a record 478 people with permits issued by Nepal for Everest’s March to May climbing season, at least 12 have died – the highest number for eight years.
Another five are still missing.