A sherpa saved the life of a climber struggling on Mount Everest's "death zone" in a rare high altitude rescue.
The Malaysian climber was carried down from below the summit after narrowly surviving the harsh elements, a government official announced on Wednesday.
Gelje Sherpa was guiding a client to Everest's summit on May 18 when he saw another climber struggling and shivering as he clung onto a rope, Reuters reported.
Over a period of six hours, Gelje, 30, hauled the climber about 1,900 feet down from the Balcony area to the South Col, where another guide, Nima Tahi Sherpa, joined the rescue.
Gelje and Nima Tahi wrapped the climber in a sleeping mat and took turns dragging him in the snow or carrying him on their backs, Gelje said.
A helicopter then airlifted him from Camp III to base camp, Gelje said.
Temperatures in the "death zone" -- located about 8,000 meters, or 26,000 feet, above sea level, can dip past negative 30 degrees Celsius -- or 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Department of Tourism official Bigyan Koirala described the high-altitude rescue to Reuters as "a very rare operation."
"It is almost impossible to rescue climbers at that altitude," Koirala said.
The climber who was rescued was placed on a flight to Malaysia last week, according to Seven Summit Treks, the company that provided logistics to the climber.
Seven Summit Treks did not reveal the rescued climber's identity, citing privacy concerns.
Nepal issued a record 478 permits for this year's climbing season, which lasts from March to May.
At least 12 climbers have died so far this year -- the highest number of deaths in eight climbing seasons, officials said. Five climbers are currently missing.