A Taiwanese hiker was recently rescued after spending 47 harrowing days stranded on a mountain in Nepal. The 21-year-old man, named Liang Sheng Yueh, was with his 19-year-old girlfriend Liu Chen Chun who died just three days before he was found on Wednesday. Liang reportedly survived on only salt and water.
The couple got lost in a snowstorm while hiking the Ganesh Himal trail, according to The Associated Press (via ABC news). In hopes of getting to a village, the pair apparently followed a river but accidentally fell over a waterfall and landing on a rocky ledge.
Unable to either climb up or down the ledge, the hikers became trapped, revealed Asian Trekking agency official Madhav Basnet. For the first two weeks, they used the food in their backpacks to survive but they eventually just consumed salt and water for the rest of their days there. Basnet explained that the couple was carrying their own food, tent and sleeping bags since they had no guides or porters.
Rescue teams immediately scoured the area after they were reported missing. The search was suspended after two weeks of searching but resumed again on April 20. On the 26th. a red tent was spotted by the rescuers on the ledge under the waterfall. Climbing down to an altitude of 8,520 feet, the search party found Liang alive, but his girlfriend Liu was already dead.
“We found the man alive and able to speak to us, but the woman was already dead. We could not carry them so we called a helicopter,” Basnet was quoted as saying.
Both the man and the dead woman were flown to Kathmandu, with the survivor being carried immediately to a hospital in the capital city.
Although he was extremely exhausted and lost some 66 lb, the man was deemed to be in good health. His doctors revealed that he most likely survived because he got both salt and water in his body.
“He was suffering from severe malnutrition. His foot was covered with maggots and hair full of lice,” Ajay Singh Thapa, a doctor at the Grande Hospital was quoted as saying. “Despite having to live like that for 47 days, he appears to be mostly normal.”