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Canberra man miraculously saved on the slopes of Everest

Lachlan Roberts 29 May 2019

The day before he was rescued, Mr Lee posted on Twitter saying he had a “rough night” at Camp One due to a “persistent chest infection”. Photos: Facebook.

In a rescue that can only be described as miraculous, Canberra man Gilian Lee is recovering in a Nepalese hospital after being found unconscious by Tibetian mountaineers on the northern slopes of Everest last week.

Tibetan climbers stumbled across the unconscious body of Mr Lee at an altitude of 7,500 metres last Wednesday (22 May) on Mr Lee’s fourth attempt at climbing Mount Everest.

The Canberra public servant used Twitter to log in details of his journey and share his frustrations since arriving in Nepal last month. On the 14 April, Mr Lee said that he arrived at Chinese Base Camp (CBC) and said that he was “feeling good at this low altitude”.

Over the following month, Mr Lee shared his experience climbing the world’s tallest mountain, with surprising jovialness stating that he got lost for an hour on the slopes and that he left his equipment behind at base camp.

Mr Lee posted on 17 May that he had a “chest hacking phlegm cough” with a “killer back throat”. A day before he was found unconscious on the slopes, Mr Lee posted saying he had a “rough night” at camp due to a “persistent chest infection”.

It was his last post on Twitter before the news broke that he had been rescued from the Everest slopes. Only a few details of the miraculous rescue have been revealed but it is believed a team of Tibetan alpine specialists found the Canberra public servant as they were on the mountain doing repair work.

Mr Lee’s rescuers used a yak to drag him to the safety of base camp, where he was reportedly taken to a hospital in Kathmandu.

Mr Lee’s starting point on 18 April.

Mr Lee’s lucky rescue comes as a record number of climbers have died or gone missing on Mount Everest since the beginning of the season, with American climber Christopher Kulish the latest person to die on his descent earlier this week.

Canadian adventurer and filmmaker Elia Saikaly returned from his eighth Everest expedition this season and shared his shock and abhorrence of seeing people walking over dead bodies on the trail.

“I cannot believe what I saw up there. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Lineups. Dead bodies on the route and in tents at camp four,” he posted on Instagram. “People who tried to turn back who ended up dying. People being dragged down. Walking over bodies.”


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