A woman from China who was found unconscious on Mount Everest has refused to pay a guide who saved her life a US$10,000 rescue fee, triggering public backlash on social media.
The 50-year-old woman from Hunan province, identified by the surname Liu, was found unconscious near the peak of Mount Everest by the Sherpa guide as he was escorting Chinese man Fan Jiangtao to the summit on May 18, South China Morning Post reported.
Fan decided to give up the journey to conquer the top of the mountain to save his compatriot.
He and his guide tried to move Liu down the mountain. The two men only managed to move Liu 200 meters due to harsh weather conditions.
Fan then went alone to seek help and met Chinese fellow Xie Ruxiang, who also agreed to join the rescue.
Xie claimed his Sherpa guide, the strongest climber among them, was initially reluctant to help so he offered a reward of $10,000 and Liu then agreed.
Sherpa guides charge a standard fee of $8,000-10,000 to help mountaineers climb up Everest by guiding them in severe weather conditions, preparing their equipment and carrying much of the gear.
The four men then worked together with Xie’s Sherpa guide carrying Liu on his back. The other three men took turns keeping her legs elevated to help increase blood flow.
Liu was taken to a base camp for treatment and recovered a few days later.
However, when the Sherpa guide asked for the promised rescue fee, Liu refused to pay the full amount and said she would only pay $4,000, besides a tip of $1,800 as everyone else, Fan said.
Fan instead paid the full amount rescue fee for the Sherpa guide, adding that Liu has not even said thanks.
Liu’s act quickly received public criticism from Chinese netizens and the incident has caught national attention in China, being viewed 300 million times on Weibo alone, with many denouncing Liu’s behavior.