We previously mentioned 200 or so climbers were in a traffic jam on Mt. Everest, and several actually died during their descent down the world's tallest mountain.
There was an Israeli man, Ben-Yehuda, who was climbing to the top of the mountain with a Sherpa guide when he came across a Turkish man, Aydin Irmak near the summit.
While only yards from the summit, Ben spotted Aydin, who he thought had already descended!
He ran to Aydin, who had collapsed shortly after leaving the summit, with no oxygen, flashlight or rucksack. Ben yelled:
"Aydin, wake up! Wake up!"
He was shocked to see his friend laying in the snow, saying:
"I just told myself, 'This is crazy.' It just blew my mind. I didn't realize he was up there the whole time. Everybody thought he had already descended."
Ben carried Aydin for hours to a camp at lower elevation. Both of them suffered from extreme exhaustion and frostbite so bad they almost had to have fingers amputated.
"They really have to recover mentally and physically. They call each other, `my brother.' After the event that they had together, their souls are really linked together now."
What's beautiful is Israel and Turkey haven't been on the best terms lately.
Aydin, who moved to America years ago, said:
"I don't know what the hell is going on between the two countries. I don't care about that. I talked to his [Ben-Yehuda's] family today and I told them you have another family in Turkey and America."
Ben said he wasn't sure if he would've stopped for a stranger though, because of a sort of tunnel vision climbers get, saying:
"You just think about breathing, about walking, about climbing."
Ben said his mandatory military training in Israel helped him make his decision:
"You never leave a friend in the field."
What a great guy! Maybe their home countries could learn a lesson from these two men.
[Image via Pavel Novak/Wikimedia Commons.]