British engineer and mountaineer David Sharp was born February 15, 1972. In 2006 he attempted to summit Mount Everest solo with no oxygen, Sherpa, guide or radio. It is presumed he did reach the summit and was descending when he became imparted due to environmental conditions and was possibly experiencing oxygen depletion. David Sharp took refuge in “Green Boots’ Cave“, next to the body of the unidentified Indian climber refered to by the nickname “Green Boots“. Sitting with his arms clasped around his legs, Sharp was passed by at least forty climbers who mistook him for the infamous “Green Boots“.
Believing his was already deceased, David Sharp received no assurance until it was too late. A team making their way to the summit around 1AM noticed David but were unable in the conditions to conduct a rescue at night. He told them, “My name is David Sharp and I am with Asian Trekking.”. The team instructed David Sharp follow a trail of LED lights which led back to base camp before continuing their summit. Nine hours later, as the same team was descending the mountain they noticed David Sharp was still huddled beneath the alcove know as “Green Boots Cave“. The team administered oxygen and tried to help David move for over an hour but he was unable to do much as stand on his ow to rest on another climbers shoulders. At this point, David Sharp was experiencing advanced hypothermia; his arms, legs and face were severely frostbitten and black. Long icicles were hanging from his nose and he was suffering from altitude sickness. The team Ho attempted to help was running dangerously low on oxygen and with David unable to stand on his own, they were forced to leave him behind and return to camp to report their findings. Although this story caused quite a bit of controversy in the news, David’s mom, Linda Sharp, supported the difficult decision made by the team to leave her son behind. She stated, “David had been noticed in a shelter. People had seen him but thought he was dead. One of Russell’s [Russell Brice, expedition manager to the team which tried to help David]. Sherpas checked on him and there was still life in there. He tried to give him oxygen but it was too late. Your responsibility is to save yourself- not try to save anybody else.”. Russell Brice has a long history of rescues on Mount Everest; In 32 years of climbing, (prior to 2006) he had rescued 15 climbers in need of aid. Those who were on the team which left David stand by their decision, citing that in the incredible off-chance he had survived, David Sharp would have been severely brain-damaged and would have required the amputation of both his arms and legs.
The following video is an excerpt from National Geographic’s Dying for Everest in which the body of David Sharp and “Green Boots” is clearly visible
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