To most of us, taking on a days-long trip up an icy mountain sounds iffy at best and frightening at worst. It's a very dangerous activity with plenty of fatalities in its wake—a dangerous activity that hundreds of thousands of people still do every year, either for their love of hiking and climbing or for the thrill of it all.
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Make sure you stay humble throughout, though, unlike one man who almost faced the direst of consequences only to be saved by a passer-by, a passer-by he certainly didn't thank enough.
Looking Death In The Face
When pursuing a daunting, thrilling, potentially life-threatening feat, you want to be certain you're as prepared as possible. You ensure that you're not only well packed but well trained too, equipped with all the knowledge you need to overcome obstacles and emergencies.
Even then, as prepared as you can be, things can go wrong. Thankfully, there are often those with even more expertise around to help.
If someone were to help you in a dire situation, you would surely want to thank them, right? Not everyone thinks so, according to some recent niche drama.
Reaching For The Top
For those into climbing, many hardcore enthusiasts aim to climb the world's most famous mountain: Mount Everest.
A Malaysian man named Ravichandran Tharumalingam, or as he goes by online, Ravi, sought the same thing. He had already scaled Mount K2 (another incredible feat) and his third summit of Everest was next on his list.
However, disaster struck during his climb. The exact details regarding how he got into this situation haven't been discussed publicly, but he was in desperate need of rescue, weak and cold, and likely on death's door.
A Recipe For Disaster
Thankfully, another climbing team was passing by Ravi's location, and their sherpa immediately knew something was wrong.
Gelje Sherpa was guiding a client to the mountain's summit when he spotted a man shivering as he held onto a rope at 'the Balcony,' a location roughly 8.3 kilometers (or 5 miles) in altitude. The Balcony is also well within Everest's 'death zone,' the area where the environment really starts to take a toll on the human body and where many climbers perish.
Gelje would later describe in interviews that he could tell the man was near death. He didn't have any bottled oxygen or a guide with him, both necessities when making this trek.
Gelje immediately knew he had to attempt to rescue this man. He had to beg and persuade his client to pause their climb so he could bring Ravi to safety; No other group was willing to help, either not wanting to stray off course from their climbs or thinking the rescue too treacherous.
Eventually, Gelje's client conceded and let him get to work. Gelje got Ravi hooked up to an oxygen tank, then wrapped him in his own bed mats he'd packed, securing him tightly before strapping Ravi to his back.
Strength And Survival
Gelje then carried Ravi down to Everest Camp 4, which is a six-hour trek from where he'd been found. Once at Camp 4, there were other sherpas there who helped with the rest of the rescue.
He was carried further down to Camp 3, where he was able to be airlifted away from the mountain and to a hospital.
Thanks to Gelje's selfless decision to help Ravi, he survived this absolutely harrowing experience and was able to live to share the story of what happened.
The Following Weeks
You might assume that Ravi would, at the very least, thank this man when sharing his story after the fact, feeling immeasurable gratitude for all that Gelje did.
His actions say otherwise though, and much of the internet is furious as a result.
Ravi posted much about his journey climbing Everest after the experience, even doing several media appearances about it. In all of his talks, posts, and interviews, he didn't mention Gelje once. He only thanked his partner teams.
Calling Him Out
When both sides of this story began circulating, people showed up in Ravi's Instagram comments to shame him for not even mentioning, let alone thanking Gelje for what he did. People claim that Ravi then started deleting comments that mentioned Gelje so as not to keep negative press on his social media page.
Gelje also shared an Instagram story made by someone else that read, "Crazy to think the guy's life he saved blocked him on insta and tried ignoring him after."
No Gratitude In Sight
That's right, not only did Ravi not mention Gelje and hide all mentions of people trying to give him credit, but he also blocked Gelje entirely from his Instagram account.
People have theorized as to why he did that, with the most common guess being that Ravi saw needing to be rescued as some sort of weakness, one that Gelje made public by sharing that he saved him. In short, he was embarrassed and was trying to rid himself of the source of that embarrassment.
Not Letting Him Forget
People were not about to let that slide after all Gelje did, so they kept pestering Ravi in his comments until he eventually, finally, mentioned Gelje by name in a caption to one of his posts.
It still wasn't what you would expect, though. He was mentioned second in a list of others who were part of the rescue team he claims got sent for him before Gelje's arrival, which leads to the next fishy thing about this story.
Things Don't Match Up
People aren't too sure about Ravi's many different claims in his retelling of the story.
His near-death experience reportedly happened on his descent, when Gelje saw him with no oxygen tank or anybody else around. Ravi claims he was hiking with a team, actually, and that he had already reached the summit. Climbers are not allowed to reach the summit without a sherpa with them, so how could he have summited if Gelje found him alone?
"No one was helping him, no friends, no oxygen, no Sherpas with him, no guides - so this is quite dangerous for him," Gelje later told CNN.
All In Humility
There's no sure way to prove whether or not Ravi is lying about the details of his climb, but at least he put Gelje's name in writing.
Gelje has taken this all in stride. When Ravi finally unblocked and mentioned him, he left a comment saying, "Thank you, hope you are recovering well."
In another post of his own, Gelje wrote, "Saving one life is more important than praying at the monastery." To him, this was simply part of his work, as he would always choose to save a life over completing another summit.
Hope For Improvement
To be in shock after a near-death experience like what Ravi faced is expected, but to block, ignore, and refuse to mention the person that saved you can't be blamed on shock alone.
Whatever Ravi's motives were—and regardless of if he was truly alone in his summit—here's hoping he learned a true lesson from this experience and he's able to be more grateful in the future.
Not to mention careful. As Gelje wrote in another post regarding a separate rescue he'd assisted, "The mountains are beautiful, sacred places, but we must remember they are also deadly."
To conquer something like an Everest climb takes a lot of courage, courage that not all of us share. Anxieties or phobias can not only keep us from accomplishing great feats, but even accomplishing everyday tasks.