JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Israeli mountain climber Nadav Ben-Yehuda gave up his dream of scaling Mount Everest when he was within some 800 feet from the summit in order to rescue a fellow climber in distress.
Israel Radio reported that Ben-Yehuda suffered frostbite during the rescue and is in danger of losing fingers. The two climbers were taken off the world’s highest peak by helicopter and taken to a hospital in Katmandu.
Ben-Yehuda told the radio that many climbers had encountered distress due to a shift in the weather and that bodies were scattered along the climbing route. He also assisted two other injured climbers, a Briton and a Georgian.
There was no immediate reaction to Ben-Yehuda’s heroism from the Turkish government, which has maintained strained relations with Israel for the past two years.
If not for his act of selflessness, Ben-Yehuda would have become the youngest Israeli to reach the top of the world.
This weekend turned out to be especially treacherous for climbing Everest, according to The Mail online. About 150 climbers—known as a “traffic jam” by Everest standards—rushed to scale the 29,000-foot peak over the weekend during a brief window of good weather.
However, a fierce windstorm swept the higher altitudes of the world’s highest mountain on Saturday morning and many climbers were left trapped without sufficient oxygen supplies.
Mountaineer Dr. Jon Kedrowski from Colarado told The Huntington Post : “I counted four people that had either died that evening or probably got disorientated and basically passed out…At that point, there’s not a lot you can do for somebody that’s dying and frozen to death.”
The deaths this weekend were described as one of the worst tolls ever recorded on the world’s highest mountain.