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Annapurna Is Toughest Himalayan Peak to Climb

Posted January. 02, 2010 08:38,   


Annapurna was the first among the Himalayan peaks higher than 8,000 meters above sea level to be conquered by humans.

Nobody, however, set foot on the peak for 20 years after the first ascent in 1950. As of last year, 157 people including nine Koreans climbed to its summit 8,091 meters above sea level, the least among the 14 Himalayan peaks rising more than 8,000 meters.

Some 4,500 people have reached the top of the highest peak, Mount Everest (8,848 meters).

About 60 climbers have died on Annapurna, a large number considering that those who died trying to get to Mount Everest number around 200.

Five Koreans have lost their lives on Annapurna, and that number rises to 14 if the sherpas accompanying the Korean climbers are included.

In 1999, Ji Hyeon-ok, the first Korean woman to conquer Mount Everest in 1993, went missing on Annapurna. She set foot on the peak but never made it back to the base camp at 7,500 meters.

Um Hong-gil made it to the top after four failed attempts, but lost three of his team members in the process.

In 1984, Kim Young-ja scaled Annapurna but her feat has not been internationally recognized because her sherpa lost a backpack containing a camera with photos supposedly proving that she made it to the top.

In September last year, two Korean climbers died on Annapurna while attempting to take a new route.