A Chinese woman who was discovered unconscious on Mount Everest at nearly 30,000 feet above sea level is facing online backlash for allegedly refusing to pay a Sherpa guide a $10,000 rescue fee.
The climb: An unidentified Sherpa guide was reportedly escorting climber Fan Jiangtao to the Mount Everest summit when he found the 50-year-old woman, identified as Liu, close to the peak on the evening of May 18.
Liu reportedly reached the summit and was descending when she experienced health problems, according to the South China Morning Post.
The rescue: Fan agreed to abandon his goal of reaching the summit to help save the unconscious woman, who is from Hunan province, China. During their extreme rescue mission, Fan encountered and asked for help from Xie Ruxiang, a Hunan Provincial Mountain Climbing Association member. Like Fan, Xie abandoned his climb and agreed to help.
However, Xie’s Sherpa guide was reluctant to help, prompting Xie to offer him a reward of $10,000, to which he then agreed. The men were successfully able to bring Liu to a base camp, where she was treated for several days before recovering.
The fee: According to Fan, Liu refused to pay $10,000 to Xie’s Sherpa guide as a rescue fee.
“Each of us paid the guide tips of $1,800, and she said she would pay $1,500 as tips. For the rescue fee of $10,000, Liu said she would only pay $4,000,” Fan said, according to SCMP.
What she said angered me. I told her, “Since that is your attitude, I don’t want a cent from you. You don’t need to give me any money.” I’ve been preparing to climb Mount Everest for 40 days and spent 400,000 yuan (approximately $56,000) on reaching this goal. I was unwilling to give up on my plan to reach the peak. What’s more, the rescue fee was paid by me. I don’t know what to say. I am just wondering why she is reluctant to pay. Xie and I feel bad about this incident. So far, she has not even said “thank you” to us. She is so ungrateful! We don’t want to have anything to do with her from now on.
Backlash: The story of the incident has circulated in mainland China, prompting backlash from netizens who were appalled by Liu’s attitude.
“After this saga, will future climbers save or help others on Mount Everest? I think probably not. This woman has quashed the living hope of other climbers who get into trouble climbing Everest,” a Weibo user said.
“Stop online attacks”: Due to the attacks on Liu, Xie and Fan asked social media users not to spread hate.
“Saving her is our choice, and expressing gratitude is hers. These are two separate things. We are not her and don’t understand what she felt. Let’s just show tolerance,” Xie said.
“We’ve saved her, so we hope she can continue to live well. We should stop online attacks and humiliation,” Fan added.