Two Chinese climbers from Hunan province chose to help a climber in distress instead of conquering the peak of Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest in the West, on May 18.
Fan Jiangtao, the leader of the Hunan mountaineering team, and his fellow member Xie Ruxiang were at an altitude of 8,450 meters when they encountered a female climber named Liu, who was in critical condition, with frostbitten hands and depleted oxygen levels.
With just 398.86 meters left to reach the summit, they decided to prioritize the rescue over personal glory. After a four-hour rescue, Fan, Xie and their Sherpa guides evacuated Liu to Camp 4 at an elevation of 7,950 meters.
Fan said though it was sad to give up the attempt, saving lives and safety are always the priority. Liu was climbing alone and began to flag with insufficient supply at the altitude.
The sports association of Hunan Province sent a congratulatory letter to other climbers of the provincial team who reached the summit while commending Fan and Xie’s deeds.