A 30-year-old Sherpa named Gelje Sherpa from Solukhumbu successfully rescued a Malaysian mountaineer stranded near the area known as the “Death Zone” on Mount Everest. It is considered impossible for anyone to be rescued from this region in Sagarmatha. Gelje’s rescue of the Malaysian climber has been hailed as a “miracle” by officials from the Department of Tourism. Gelje, who resides in Tattin, Ward No. 10 of Solududhkunda Municipality, is a mountain guide. Gelje himself holds the record for being the youngest person to summit the “Killer Mountain” k2 in winter. Last year, Gelje was part of a 10-member Nepali team, including Nirmal Purja, who successfully completed the first winter ascent of K2 Winter.
In May of last year, Gelje led a Chinese mountaineer to the summit of Sagarmatha. At that time, Gelje himself faced difficulties and was left stranded at an altitude of around 8,300 meters in critical condition. Gelje said, “I saw a person stranded alone on the ridge. He was frozen and trembling, and no one else seemed to be aware of his presence.” Gelje further stated, “I brought him down, tied with a rope and wearing a black sleeping mat as a makeshift sled. I carried him on my back until Camp IV, where other teammates were present.”
According to Gelje, the rescued climber was a Malaysian citizen who was referred to as “Ravi” by his team members. Ravi had become incapacitated while descending from the summit of Sagarmatha, so Gelje decided to cancel his own summit attempt to prioritize rescuing him. Gelje stated, “I chose to bring him down because rescuing him was my priority. Money can be earned later.” Video footage of Gelje carrying the stranded climber on his back is circulating on social media. The Malaysian climber was airlifted from Camp III to Kathmandu via helicopter and received treatment.
Usually, guides who accompany climbers to the summit of Everest do not leave their own team members behind to help members of other teams. However, Gelje, after summiting, left the Chinese team and rescued a member of another team. Gelje said, “I will return with the Chinese after rescuing him, unlike the Chinese who stayed with me. Later, they also understood.”
Gelje was assisted in the rescue by Nimatashee Sherpa, according to Gelje. Gelje mentioned that he had concerns about the condition of Malaysian climber. Later, Gelje’s friends informed him that the Malaysian climber had been airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment. Gelje received a message on his mobile phone a few days later, saying, “Thank you for saving me.”
That message was from the Malaysian citizen himself. Gelje said, “I felt extremely happy when I learned that he had survived. It feels great that he returned to his country after receiving treatment in Kathmandu.” Gelje expressed his joy to an online news source and said, “Doing something good for someone’s life is much more rewarding than performing rituals and worshiping in temples and monasteries.”