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Mountaineering’s Grand Slam

Posted May. 01, 2005 23:43,   


The history of mountaineering has been built amid severe trials. One of the major accomplishments in mountaineering is reaching the three poles of the planet, the North and South Poles and Mt. Everest, and climbing the 14 Himalayan peaks higher than 8,000 meters,

The conquest of the highest peaks of seven continents in addition to those of the three poles is the “grand slam” of mountaineering. Park Young-seok is the world’s first mountaineer to achieve the grand slam. This marks a milestone by a Korean in the history of mountaineering, which has primarily been led by Westerners.

Park decided to go for the grand slam directly after his successful climb of Manaslu, the 10th of the 14 peaks of the Himalayas, in May 2000. After his conquest of the 14 peaks the following year, he failed in an expedition to the North Pole in 2003 after some three years of preparation. Nonetheless, Park did not give in and embarked on another North Pole expedition on March 8 this year after successfully setting a new record (44 days) for trekking on foot to the South Pole. By reaching the North Pole, he accomplished the unprecedented feat of mountaineering’s grand slam.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com