OTHERS > Israeli man gives up quest to reach Everest summit to save Turkish climber

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AFP file photo

AFP file photo

An Israeli mountaineer abandoned his climb to the summit of Mount Everest, 300 meters away from the peak, in order to help an injured Turkish climber.

Had he chosen to complete his ascent, 24-year-old Nadav Ben-Yahuda would have become the youngest Israeli to reach Everest’s summit, the Jerusalem Post reported on its website.

Ben-Yahuda said he and his Sherpa guide saw a friend he had made at the base camp, 46-year-old Turkish-New Yorker Aydın Irmak, lying unconcsious on an icy ridge during the climb. “When we saw my friend Aydın there was no question,” Ben-Yahuda said as reported by Sharon Udasin of Jerusalem Post.

Ben-Yahuda lifted Irmak over his shoulder and began an eight-hour descend to Camp IV, without gloves and an oxygen mask as his had broken earlier. 

The minus 40 degree Celcius cold left severe burns on both men's faces and Ben-Yahuda's ungloved fingers suffered frostbite and may need to be amputated, he said. The men eventually reached Camp IV and were evacuated by a helicopter.

Irmak said he had started his climb one day before Ben-Yahuda and had reached the summit, where he stayed for five or six minutes before he began his descent down the mountain. 

“I started walking and walking and walking,” he said. “I don’t know how long I walked. It of course was dark and I was out of oxygen. Then I needed to stop. I don’t remember [what happened then].”
"The only think I remember is Nadav’s voice. ‘Aydın, Aydın, are you there brother? Can you move your legs?’ When I woke up there were four dead bodies around me,” Irmak said. “I believe I almost died. Nadav saved my life.”

The two men had struck up a friendship the moment they met at base camp and, according to Irmak, had formed a "brother relationship."

“I don’t know what the hell is going on between the two countries. I don’t care about that. I talked to [Ben-Yahuda's] family today and I told them you have another family in Turkey and America,” Irmak was quoted as saying.


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5/24/2012 8:19:46 PM

That is just so beautiful

mara mcglothin

5/24/2012 6:38:22 PM

JRC LOL The story is out there in all media outlets, they just do NOT point out the nationality of the people involved, so that might be why you can't find it! Some of us, as you know are long since over where you come from or the color of your skin or the prophet you follow......


5/24/2012 6:04:08 PM

How is it this story has not appeared in any press other than in Israel, and now here? Surely it should have been elsewhere?

Cheri Henry

5/24/2012 5:12:17 PM

Love your neighbor as yourself - second greatest commandment! Well done Nadav! Praying that he doesn't lose his fingers to frostbite. But better to lose a finger than lose your soul because of selfish ambition.

US Observer

5/24/2012 4:33:34 PM

If more people would judge people based off their character instead of their race or religion, the world would be so much better. Citizens often get to wrapped up in the Political propaganda...everyone wants a cause to rally behind. This eaxample shows when people get to know one antoher, where they come from and what their faith is not all the important in the grand scheme of life.

Dennis Kavaz

5/24/2012 4:19:32 PM

God bless the Israeli.Well done it's a very big and symbolic thing. Brovo and God bless Tesekurler

ender bilici

5/24/2012 2:15:25 PM

What a trick! In my opinion This is a failed attempt of climbing mount Everest.They get a bright idea to come in to and create a sort of imaginative fair play scenario.

Stephen Brunette

5/24/2012 2:10:54 PM

A wonderful act of compassion and bravery by Nadav Ben-Yahuda, and shows the true brotherhood of mankind. This stupid dispute between Israel and Turkey has gone on long enough. Take the example from both Aydin Irmak and Nadav Ben-Yahuda, and move forward.

Halis Saithan

5/24/2012 1:29:42 PM

What was a climber doing without a Sherpa... should have left him to die, people should know when they can't finish a climb and stop.

engin eser

5/24/2012 1:09:54 PM

This is a truly humanitarian act - Nadav Ben-Yahuda, I salute you. If more people were like you, the world would be a much better place.
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