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Park Young-seok: “Good Morning, I’m at the North Pole”

Park Young-seok: “Good Morning, I’m at the North Pole”

Posted May. 01, 2005 23:41,   


“We finally made it!”

The GPS handset of Park Young-seok, the head of the arctic expedition team, finally confirmed that they were at latitude 90° north. At that moment, there was a shout of victory by Park, Hong Seong-taek(39), Oh Hee-joon, and Jeong Chan-il (25).

The arctic expedition team (sponsored by The North Face, NCsoft, LG Insurance, Dong-a Ilbo, and SBS) made up of four members finally reached the North Pole on May 1 at 4:45 a.m. (April 30, 19:45 GMT), 53 days, three hours and 15 minutes after they left Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut Canada, 83 degrees and 3.09 minutes north latitude, on March 9.

By reaching the North Pole, Park became the first person in history to complete the “grand slam’’ of mountaineering.

After climbing 14 peaks of over 8,000 meters in the Himalayas in 2001, and the highest peak on each of the seven continents in 2002, he walked on foot to the South Pole in 44 days in 2004, setting a new expedition record. His journey to the North Pole was his second attempt, however. His first ended in frustration in 2003.

Hong became the 15th person to conquer the North Pole, the South Pole and Mt. Everest with Park.

The expedition team will return to their base camp on Resolute Bay, Canada on a light aircraft and arrive in Korea on May 12.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com