After refusing to pay the rescue cost to the Sherpa who saved her, a woman who nearly perished while climbing Mount Everest prompted a fierce social media response in China.
The woman, from China, was found unconscious at 8,500 metres and was saved by a Sherpa, who was helping another climber reach the summit.
Two other climbers who helped in the rescue effort ended up paying the fee on her behalf, according to Chinese media.
The woman, 50, from China’s Hunan province who has only been named by her surname Liu, was found near the peak after having collapsed.
Another climber, Fan Jiangtao, was trying to reach the summit when he came across her.
Fan agreed to abandon his ascent and help save the woman.
He moved her around 200m down the mountain, but could not move her further. Another climber Xie Ruxiang reached the scene, who also agreed to help with the rescue – him too abandoning his goal of reaching the summit.
Xie’s Sherpa was offered a reward of $10,000 dollars to assist. The Sherpa carried her on his back and the two other men took it in turns to elevate her legs to help her blood flow.
She received treatment for several days at base camp and eventually recovered.
When the Sherpa asked about his rescue fee, Liu refused to pay the full amount.
“Each of us paid the guide tips of US$1,800, and she said she would pay US$1,500 as tips. For the rescue fee of US$10,000, Liu said she would only pay US$4,000,” Fan claimed.
“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.’”
Fan said: “I’ve been preparing to climb Mount Everest for 40 days and spent 400,000 yuan (US$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,” Fan further added.
The story blew up on Chinese social media with posts about it viewed 300 million times on Weibo.
One person wrote online: ““After this saga, will future climbers save or help others on Mount Everest? I think probably not,” one person wrote.
“Does she have a conscience? Is her life not worth US$10,000?” another posted.
Others called for her not to suffer at the hands of online bullies. “We’ve saved her, so we hope she can continue to live well. We should stop online attacks and humiliation.” They said.