Climber outlines life and death options on Everest

THE HONG KONG STANDARD | Amy Nip

Bravery is not enough to save a person, said Everest climber Elton Ng Chun- ting, who explained why he could not save dying hikers he came across on the risky trail.

The physiotherapist, 38, reached the Everest summit on May 21 with teacher Ada Tsang Yin-hung, the first Hong Kong woman to attain such an achievement.

Over the same weekend, four climbers died on the world's highest peak, and the Hong Kong duo had said they came across several dying climbers and it was necessary to climb over corpses.

Their accounts attracted criticism for their failure to rescue fellow climbers.

In a radio program yesterday, Ng explained that conditions on the mountain can be much worse than what people would expect. "Once the altitude exceeds 7,000 meters, it becomes a deadly zone. Walkie-talkie and satellite phones do not function and anyone who stays still for three to five minutes will freeze to death even local sherpas may not survive," he said.

During their trip, the weather conditions were so bad their cameras went dead in just five seconds. "Even before I took out the Hong Kong SAR flag," Ng said.

"Bravery is not enough to save somebody. You need appliances and additional oxygen. And a very fit body."

Ng had led two organ transplant recipients, Martin Wong Yim-wah, 50, and Peter Chan Kwok-ming, 58, to the 5,364m base camp in his capacity as the Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association ambassador. Continue reading
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