From whence cometh my help?
Mark Inglis, the double amputee who conquered Everest last week, yesterday defended his party's decision to carry on to the summit despite coming across a dying British climber.
As his team climbed through the "death zone", the area above 26,000ft where the body begins to shut down, they passed David Sharp, 34, a stricken British climber who later died. His body remains on the mountain.
Mr Inglis, 47, a New Zealander, said: "At 28,000ft it's hard to stay alive yourself. He was in a very poor condition, near death. We talked about [what to do for him] for quite a lot at the time and it was a very hard decision.
"About 40 people passed him that day, and no one else helped him apart from our expedition. Our Sherpas gave him oxygen. He wasn't a member of our expedition, he was a member of another, far less professional one."
There is something very odd about mountaineers - as well as their fingers and toes they also seem to lose part of their humanity - to "pass by on the otherside" a dying man so you can tick off having reached the top of a mountain is plain wrong and I hope will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Even if they couldn't have physically helped him they could have comforted him, to die alone with people passing is a damning testament to those tourists.
Psalms chapter 121
King James Version
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.