This UK Climber Let Go Of His Lifelong Dream To Save The Life Of An Indian Mother

Tripoto

Every year hundreds of mountaineers make it to the Mount Everest after Edmund Hilary and Tenzin Norway first summit it in 1953. But there are very very few people who put their dreams aside to save the life of another.

Photo of Mount Everest by Sreshti Verma

Leslie Binns turned around some 500 m before the summit when he saw a climber falling down and screaming. The ex-servicemen, was on the climb in the early hours of 21 May when he saved the Bengali mountaineer's life.

He was ascending to the area 'The Balcony' where spare oxygen bottles are stored when he first caught the glimpse of Sunita.

Photo of This UK Climber Let Go Of His Lifelong Dream To Save The Life Of An Indian Mother by Sreshti Verma

"All I could hear were the screams of terror as the person gained momentum. I braced myself to try and stop whoever it was, and managed to do so."

Binns elaborates on the experience,

"At this time I didn't know that this was Sunita Hazra. I helped her upright and looked at her oxygen regulator. It was registering empty."

Despite the spare oxygen and help, Sunita Hazra collapsed after 20 meters.

"It was at this point I decided to cancel my summit bid to help Sunita,"

Credits: Leslie John Binns

Photo of This UK Climber Let Go Of His Lifelong Dream To Save The Life Of An Indian Mother by Sreshti Verma

Leslie, his sherpa and Sunita met another climber on their way down but despite many efforts they were not able to help him in the bad weather. After many crevasses and slippery ice, the group made it back to the tent where Leslie saw that Sunita's right hand been badly frost-bitten.

"I then remembered we had a flask of ginger tea. I used this to try and re-warm Sunita's hand. I dried it off and told her to keep it in her fleece pocket which would keep it warm."

Leslie had served 13 years in the army before he got blinded in the left eye due to an explosion.

Photo of This UK Climber Let Go Of His Lifelong Dream To Save The Life Of An Indian Mother by Sreshti Verma

The next morning he found out that the other climbed they were unable to help, had been found dead.

Mr Binns said: "I truly regret not being able to do anything more for him. But I had nothing left in me that night and I tried my level best to rescue him, but he could not be moved. No summit is worth a life.

"I am immensely proud that I helped Sunita. I just wish I could have done more."

Sunita Hazra who is a 32 year old mother, lives near Kolkata said that she cannot be grateful enough.

She said,

“I owe my life to him. I could return home to see my child. What else can I say?”

Sunita is now back at home in Kolkata and recovering well. Credits: Indian Express

Photo of This UK Climber Let Go Of His Lifelong Dream To Save The Life Of An Indian Mother by Sreshti Verma
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