On May 26 at 7:34 pm this message has been posted on Sange Sherpa fb profile. He was in Norvic Hospital Thapathali Kathmandu with his hands completely frostbitten, but alive.
When I read it for the first time - and I did again and again, like in trance - I couldn't believe. I was feeling so angry, I was furious. And sorry, so sorry...
I couldn't stop to stare at the picture of this young brave man, scared for life.
This is not the first time that a Sherpa guide risks his life because his client refuses to listen to him. Just few month ago I reported the story of Chhepal Sherpa who had got injuried in the Everest expedition of Alex Txikon. Fortunately Cheepal is back climbing and the accident had no consequences.
Few days ago, on the Everest's Day, Messner said the most of the people climbing Everest nowadays are not 'muntaineers' but 'tourists', people paying to be brought up, who think they have bought the summit so they deserve it. Mountaineers know that the summit is just a possibility, as well as the need to renounce. There is no glory in dieing on your way down, as Anatoli Boukreev used to say the summit is just halfway.
But tourists are important for Nepali economy. Nepalis started climbing their stunning mountains to get a pay by rich reckless foreigners and only in very recent times a few Nepali mountaineers emerged as the avanguard of a new generation, climbing for love and not just for a salary.
Climbing is a dangerous way to make a living, but very rewarding: it brings fame and good money, the opportunity to change your life. So I don't expect Sherpas to riot.
Sange Sherpa's story got some exposure and that's very good, especially because maybe foreigners had a chance to reflect on the consequences of their behaviour on the lives of people who have a different concept of life. "I could have left him alone all the way to summit and return myself back alone down but I didn’t did that. His life was equally important for me, I went with him up to the summit".
No, I don't expect Sherpas to riot but I expect mountaineers (or tourists) to show respect for them.
"My Everest Summit Experience 2017
I feel really lucky and blessed to be able to share my experience with you all.
After Everest 2016 Expedition. I began my another attempt to the summit of Mt Everest on 21st May 2017 with one of my client from Pakistan. We both were doing good on the way to the summit. 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 with out 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.
Unfortunately my oxygen mask and goggles were frozed completely. The wind was too cold and strong, blowing all the new snow in the air that I could hardly see through my goggles. I realized that it’s more important to return back than heading up for summit of Mt.Everest as I was aware of the risk included. So, I requested my client to return back immediately for our safety but my client he refused my request because the Everest summit was very near and said he had paid a lot of royalty to climb Everest. So, he don’t want to return back without successful summit of Mt. Everest
If I want, I could have left him alone all the way to summit and return myself back alone down but I didn’t did that. His life was equally important for me, I went with him 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.
Finally after an struggle and slow walk we both stood on the summit of Mt Everest. It was both reward and risk for us. We were very happy. I clicked some photographs of my client rapidly on the summit ,hoping that I will get some good shot of him as I was feeling dizzy and was not able too see clearly. We spent around 5 minutes on the summit of Mt Everest, I started feeling like a drunk man almost going to fall down, it was too risky to stay on the summit more and the oxygen bottle was also limited so we descended from the summit quickly after replacing a new oxygen for my client.
My client was walking very slowly and I was also doing good climbing down without use of oxygen. It became dark and we had to stop after a long descend. When I looked for my client he was resting on the ridge just few meters away from me. I called him a lot but he didn’t respond me at all.
By now he was unconscious and too weak to walk and speak so do I. I inhaled my oxygen and I was too tired and unconscious that I didn’t realized when I went into sleep. Luckily I was awaken by the noise of other climbers, otherwise the climbers walking nearby would have considered me dead and left there.
When I opened my eyes, I found myself lying unconscious. If I look around, it was just bright white ice and snow. It was just burning my eyes. There were many climbers going to the summit. I was feeling very hungry and thirsty, my water bottle was frozen and no matter how hard I tried I was not able to move my hand and body at all, there was no sense in my both hand. Soon I realized my hand were completely frost bitten, I was very hopeless and tired that I could have easily closed my eyes and become a permanent member of the mountain. It would have been very peaceful than suffering.
I was waiting for death when I could feel my body cold as ice, breathing and heartbeat were very slow. The climbers going to the summit didn’t even approached 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 God. I surrendered.
I kept praying to 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, 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 3 & 2 and then got airlifted to the hospital in Kathmandu.
My sincere request to all the foreigners who are climbing or are going to climb the Mountains: Please listen and obey the instruction and decision of Sherpa Guide during your climbing. Don't put your self and your guide into trouble by making your own decision during such situation. Sherpa Guides are more familiar and experience in the mountains and dealing with harsh environment.
Your life and family is more precious and important than the summit. Mt.Everest will always be there. It wont gonna move anywhere else. If you are unable to summit you can try next time but if you loose your life once, you will never get it back again.. Life is so precious..
People give up on themselves but God’s not giving up on you. No matter what, God is always there. Always have faith in self and god. He’ll lead you through the toughest times and help you survive the impossible.
I am very grateful from the bottom of my heart to Seven Summit Treks family and friends who rescued me and my client from death zone putting their own life at risk. Though I got my hand frost bitten, I am glad that me and my client got a new life and are back alive after successful summit of Mt Everest despite harsh environment with great support from Sherpas."