Sherpa climber recounts how they got second lease of life on Mt Everest
KATHMANDU: A sherpa climber who was rescued from the death zone on Mt Everest has requested to all the foreigners to listen and obey the instruction and decision of their respective guides when they attempt to climb mountains in Nepal.
Sange Sherpa along with a climber from Pakistan was rescued by a group of sherpa climbers after they suffered from severe frostbite and other high altitude sicknesses near South Col on Mt Everest two weeks ago.
“Please listen and obey the instruction and decision of sherpa guides during your climbing,” Sherpa, who along with his Pakistani climbing partner Abdul Jabbar Bhatti was undergoing treatment at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu, said, in an appeal.
Recalling his struggle for life and death on the roof of the world, he said, “Don’t put yourself and your guide into trouble by making your own decision during such situation while sherpa guides are more familiar and experienced in the mountains and dealing with the harsh environment.”
Rescuers including Ang Tshering Lama, Nima Gyalzen Sherpa, Ang Jangbu Sherpa, Mingma Chhiri Sherpa and Pema Chiring Sherpa from Sherpa Khangri Outdoor rescued the climbers from South Col giving them a second lease of life, according to survivors.
According to Sherpa, he began making a final attempt to the summit of Mt Everest on May 21 with one of his clients from Pakistan. “When we reached balcony, we replaced our empty bottle of oxygen with a new one. Everything was going good.
We were close to the summit of Mt Everest, I could see all the other mountains down below the Mt Everest. I was quiet comfortable without using oxygen bottle at that point, so I planned to use my bottle of oxygen as a backup when we return from the summit.”
Suddenly, the weather started to turn bad and soon worse, he recounted. “Unfortunately my oxygen mask and goggles were frozen completely and the wind was too cold and strong, blowing all the new snow in the air that I could hardly see through my goggles,” he said adding that he realised that it’s more important to return back than heading up for summit of Mt Everest as he was aware of the risk included.
“So, I requested my client to return back immediately for our safety but my client refused my request because the summit point was very near and said he had paid a lot of royalty to climb Mt Everest,” he said. The climber didn’t want to return back without conquering Mt Everest, according to Sherpa.
“If I wish, I could have left him alone all the way to summit and return myself back alone down but I didn’t do that as his life was equally important for me,” he said, adding that he went with Pakistani climber up to the summit to guide and support him despite the bad weather and the fact that we both could loose our life in a blink. “You will have hundreds of reason to die in the mountain,” he explained.
“Finally we both stood atop the summit of Mt Everest while it was both reward and risk for us. We spent around five minutes on the summit of Mt Everest and I started feeling like a drunken man almost going to fall down.”
It was too risky to stay on the summit more and the oxygen bottle was also limited so they descended from the summit quickly after replacing new bottle oxygen.
It became dark and they had to stop after a long descend, Sherpa recounted adding that when he looked for Pakistani climber he was resting on the ridge just few meters away from him. “I called him a lot but he didn’t respond to me at all,” Sherpa described.
“Bhatti was unconscious and too weak to walk and speak so do I,” he said, adding that he inhaled the oxygen while he was too tired and unconscious that he didn’t realize when he went into sleep. “Luckily, I woke up by the noise of other climbers.”
According to Sherpa, he was waiting for death when he could feel his body as cold as ice, breathing and heartbeat were very slow. The climbers going to the summit didn’t even approach to me as I was like a dead body. I was unable to move and speak properly. At this point, I needed help. And, I gave it to the God. I surrendered.”
“I kept praying to the God and at that moment, I witnessed a miracle. God himself came to help me in a form of friends from Seven Summit Treks. Luckily, they recognized me but at first they thought I was dead.
They feed me some tasty chocolate juice to quench my thirst and after a while with the help of my friends, me and my client we both were able to make it the rest of the way down to Camp III & II and then got airlifted to the hospital in Kathmandu.”
Sherpa said he was very grateful to Ang Tshering, the men behind their survival and his friends and he also would like to extend his sincere gratitude for saving them.
Bhatti also described that they (rescuers) were the true heroes who went above and beyond the call of duty and put their own lives at risk for humanity.
“While on their way down from the Summit, Ang Tshering and his friends decided to take on the challenge that was, perhaps, tougher than conquering the world’s tallest mountain: to rescue two incapacitated fellows from 8,600m.”