Malaysian climber Ravichandran Tharumalingam is facing major social media backlash after failing to thank the man who rescued him from certain death on Mount Everest. According to Insider, Gelje Sherpa, along with his Chinese client, found the climber in the “death zone” of the mountain on May 18, leading the two to give up on their ascent and conduct a rescue.
Gelje told CNN that the rescue was the hardest in his life, explaining that several other climbers failed to stop for the dying man, continuing towards the summit. When Ravichandran was returned safely to Malaysia, however, his social media posts failed to even mention Gelje, thanking his partners with 14th Peaks Expedition instead.
14th Peaks Expedition did assist in the rescue, and certainly deserve some credit, but they only arrived after Gelje had already descended 1,900 feet while carrying another man to Everest’s Camp 4.
“How important is Rescue Team and Heli Rescue on Everest Expedition? Believe me, it’s very important. I am alive today, because I had the best and dedicated Partners – The 14th Peaks Expedition Co and Global Rescue Ins.” –Ravichandran Tharumalingam via Instagram
Comments on the Malaysian’s Instagram call quite heavily for the climber to properly thank the man who saved his life, with some even going as far as to say that he should have been left on the mountain. Ravichandran did eventually mention Gelje in an Instagram post, though the name is placed among employees of 14th Peaks Expedition.
To be incredibly clear, Gelje runs his own company, AGA Adventures, and is not associated with 14th Peaks Expedition.
Featured Image Credit: Ravichandran Everest via Facebook