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Korean Climbers Defeated by Nature in China

Posted May. 08, 2008 08:27,   

한국어

Korean climbers in China have knelt before nature in defeat.

An expedition team yesterday had to stop their plan to conquer Daddomain (6,380 meters) and Longemain (6,294 meters), two unconquered peaks in Sichuan, China.

Starting from Camp 1, they trekked through a sharp ridge through an 800-meter wall that was believed to lead to the peak. The ridge, however, dropped to a cliff.

With the remaining gear and food they had, the climbers had to return to where they started.

Conquering a peak on the first attempt is a significant accomplishment. No one has climbed Daddomain before. In their first trial at Daddomain, the expedition team confirmed the peak is a “virgin” and organized their final route through it.

Team leader Park Young-seok also filed an official request with Sichuan climbing authorities to have the peak named after his two late colleagues Lee Hyun-jo and Oh Hee-joon, who died in an avalanche when climbing Mount Everest last year.

Park and his four team members set up Camp 1 at a point 5,200 meters up and started for Daddomain at 4:10 a.m. yesterday. He cited two reasons for his team’s failure to conquer Daddomain and Longemain.

The first reason was lack of information. The mountain area surrounding Daddomain and Longemain had been unknown to the world as well as Chinese climbers. Park decided to climb based on only data he gathered from photos and maps.

The second was bad climate. “During the 15-day expedition that started after establishment of the base camp, we had only five days to climb due to heavy snow and fog,” said Park.

The expedition team will return to Korea Saturday.



kimsk@donga.com