With recent reports of a degree of rapprochement between Israel and Turkey, comes a heartwarming tale of sacrifice, sportsmanship and humanity that could, hopefully, add to easing the rifts between the two former regional allies.
Israeli mountain climber Nadav Ben Yehuda gave up on his dream to climb Mt. Everest with just 300 meters to go before reaching the summit. Within sight of the summit, Ben Yehuda turned around to save an injured Turkish climber.
According to Israel Radio, which broke the story on Tuesday morning, Ben Yehuda himself sustained injuries during his rescue of the Turkish climber. According to the report, Ben Yehuda, 24, suffered severe frostbite and may lose his fingers.
After the rescue, the two climbers were airlifted off the mountain by helicopter and are now recovering in a hospital in Kathmandu.
Speaking to Israel Radio from the hospital, Ben Yehuda said that there were several bodies strewn along the path to the mountain’s summit and that, in addition to helping the Turkish climber, he also assisted a British climber and a Georgian national.
Had Ben Yehuda not turned back to help the Turkish climber, he would have been the youngest Israel to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
Days after four people died amid a “traffic jam” of climbers scrambling to conquer Mount Everest, officials in Nepal say a similar rush up the world’s tallest peak will begin soon, and there’s little they can do to control it.
About 200 climbers are expected to attempt to scale the summit of the 8,848-meter (29,029-foot) mountain between Friday and Sunday, Nepalese mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha said. Some have been at a staging camp for days, waiting for a window of good weather after worse than usual conditions have hampered this climbing season.
A similar crowd of 208 climbers headed to the summit last week, and four died on Saturday in one of the deadliest days on the mountain.
Ha Wenyi of China, Eberhard Schaaf of Germany, Nepal-born Canadian Shriya Shah and South Korean Song Won-bin died on their way down from the summit. They are believed to have suffered from exhaustion and altitude sickness, Shrestha said on Tuesday.
Shrestha also said a Nepalese Sherpa guide who had been reported missing from the group reached the base camp safely on Monday. Shrestha says the guide was separated from the group and did not have communications equipment.
The latest deaths have raised concerns about overcrowding above the highest camp on the mountain. The area is nicknamed the “death zone” because of the steep icy slope, treacherous conditions and low oxygen level.
“There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m., which is quite dangerous,” Shrestha said. Climbers normally are advised not to try for the summit after 11 a.m.
Source: Israel Hayom