Climbers save dying woman on Mount Qomolangma who then refuses to cover rescue fee
Published: Jun 05, 2023 11:38 PM
Photo: Screenshot of video from Shangyou News

Photo: Screenshot of video from Shangyou News

Two climbers from China gave up their attempt to reach the summit of Mount Qomolangma in order to save a dying Chinese woman who then only agreed to cover $4,000 of the $10,000 rescue fee.

Despite the customary mountaineering practice of "no rescue above 8,000 meters" and the Sherpa guide's disapproval, Fan Jiangtao, one of the two climbers from Central China's Hunan Province, still decided to give up the attempt on the summit at 8,450 meters on May 18 in order to save the woman who was lying on the ground with ice on her face and was running out of oxygen.

"She is Chinese and from Hunan like me. I thought I had to save her," said Fan, who had spent 400,000 yuan (56,290) and 40 days preparing for the climb. Fan then came across his teammate Xie Ruxiang at the height of 8,300 meters. They promised to give a $10,000 rescue fee to the Sherpa guide if the guide helped them to safely bring the woman back to the camp.

After a nearly four-hour walk back to the camp, the woman surnamed Liu was successfully rescued. She expressed gratitude to Fan and Xie when interviewed by the Hunan media after her return to China.

But a few days later when Fan asked Liu about the $10,000 payment for the Sherpa guide. Liu said she could only pay $4,000. "Xie and I paid $5,000 each to the guide on Saturday. I gave up my time and money to save her. And I still need to pay the rescue fee. I'm angry and want to know why," Fan was quoted as saying by Shangyou News.

Shangyou News tried to get in contact with Liu through multiple channels but failed to get any response. A person familiar with the matter said Liu has been resistant to talking to the media since she came back as she has exhibited some stress reactions after being so close to death.

Global Times