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How did ‘Lifesaver’ Gelje Sherpa rescue the Malaysian climber on Mount Everest? 14 Facts!

Gelje Sherpa

A mountaineer has been accused of snubbing a brave sherpa (Gelje Sherpa) who saved his life on Everest by carrying him for six hours on his back to safety.

Gelje Sherpa: Fateful Encounter

When Gelje Sherpa noticed the climber clinging to the rope, he was on his way to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

They were in the “death zone,” a region near the summit of Mount Everest with extremely low temperatures and insufficient oxygen to breathe unaided for more than a few minutes.

The Malaysian climber had “nothing” and was “about to die,” the 30-year-old Nepali mountain guide told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.

“No one was helping him, no friends, no oxygen, no Sherpas with him, no guides – so this is quite dangerous for him.”

The climber has since been identified as Malaysian national Ravichandran Tharumalingam.

According to Nepali officials, 12 people have died and 5 have gone missing on Everest this year as the spring climbing season comes to a close.

Gelje Sherpa displays superhuman strength in a heroic rescue
Gelje Sherpa displays superhuman strength in a heroic rescue(Source: CNN)

Snubbing the Lifesaver

According to those in the mountaineering community, Ravi downplayed the rescue and even blocked Gelje on Instagram after he recovered.

According to Ravi’s website, he:

“organizes Mount Everest expedition training, preparation, and leading to the summit and making sure all climbers will get the best chance to reach the Everest summit.”

What happened? (14 Facts)

1. On the night of May 18, Gelje Sherpa, 30, of AGA Adventures, discovered an incapacitated climber in the “death zone” or “the Balcony” (area near the Mt Everest summit).

2. Gelje was escorting a Chinese client to the summit of Everest when he noticed a climber shivering on “the Balcony.”

3. Gelje later stated in interviews that the climber appeared to be near death. The climber (Ravi) had no bottled oxygen or guides with him.

In the Everest death zone, the human body is literally dying slowly. Without an oxygen supplement, breathing even for a few minutes is difficult. Only very experienced mountaineers can achieve the feat of climbing Everest without any oxygen. This is also the place where most die while trying to ascend or descend the Everest.

4. Gelje also stated that no other group was willing to assist him because they were all focused on reaching the summit. Furthermore, rescuing someone from the death zone is nearly impossible, if not dangerous.

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gelje sherpa Ravichandran Tharumalingam
Gelje Sherpa and Ravichandran Tharumalingam (Source: LBC)

5. So Gelje persuaded his Chinese client to forego the summit, a costly decision, in order to save the climber Ravi.

6. Gelje wrapped Ravichandran in his sleeping mat and carried him down to Everest Camp 4 by himself, a six-hour journey. He found other sherpas to help him at Camp 4.

7. Gelje claimed that starting from Camp 4, the sherpas took turns carrying him through rocky terrain where he couldn’t be dragged.

8. Ravi was transferred from Camp 4 to Camp 3, where he was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter.

9. Earlier reports did not identify the climber. Tashi Lakhpa Sherpa of the Seven Summit Treks company, the climber’s partner company, declined to be named, citing his privacy, according to Reuters.

10. However, after reaching Malaysia, the climber Ravi went on to give several interviews to local media about his journey to the summit and the rescue.

11. Regarding his rescue, the majority of Ravi’s IG posts only thanked his rescue teams and made no mention of Gelje.

12. When Ravi did name Gelje after the backlash, netizens accused him of making it sound like he was a partner company.

13. Twitter and Instagram users questioned Ravi’s claims, in which he claimed that his partner company sent for his rescue when Gelje claimed that he was found alone and decided to save himself.

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14. Others questioned Ravi’s right to summit alone and whether his claims were true. Ravi has three successful Mt Everest summits, including his 2023 summit (if verified).

Usually at Mt Everest, it is not uncommon to just cross over a dead body of a fellow climber or a Sherpa. It is also not uncommon to abandon those who are unable to get to safety themselves.

This year, Nepal issued a record 478 climbing permits. But the climbing season this year on Everest has been one of the deadliest, with 12 deaths and 5 people missing.


Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by sab