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article imageSouth Korean woman first to climb 14 highest peaks

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 29, 2010 in Sports
Seoul - There are 14 mountains on Earth higher than 8000 meters; Oh Eun-Sun of South Korea claims she has climbed them all. Spanish mountaineer Edurne Pasaban objects.
South Korean Oh Eun-Sun, age 44 and just 5’1” tall, became the first woman to reach the world's 14 highest peaks, those taller than 8000 meters. On April 27, she reached the summit of the 8,091-meter Annapurna I. The mountain, located in the Himalayas, is part of a chain of four peaks of the same name, Annapurna I-IV. This was Oh’s second attempt at Annapurna I since October 2009. At that time she came 500 meters short of the summit, but had to retreat because of bad weather.
South Korean mountain climber Oh Eun-Sun  in her webpage  showing equipment details.
South Korean mountain climber Oh Eun-Sun, in her webpage, showing equipment details.
Oh Eun-Sun is considered by South Koreans as a national hero. Thousands of her co-nationals were watching her climb through a live KBS TV broadcast. On reaching the summit, at 18:20 hrs local time, Oh Eun-Sun dressed in red-and-black climbing gear, pulled out a South Korean flag, raised her arms, waved and said:
Thank you fellow Koreans for being with me throughout the whole expedition... Thank you....
Oh's achievement, however, is the subject of controversy. Her closest rival, Edurne Pasaban, of Spain raised questions about whether Oh actually reached the summit of Mount Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, last year. Pasaban told The Times of London recently that Oh's Sherpas told her that Oh did not actually reach the summit because of bad weather. Some evidence presented by the Spanish side refer to blurred pictures that make it difficult to ascertain whether the location of the photographs is actually at the summit, and that a green rope used by the Korean expedition ends 200 meters short of Kangchenjunga’s summit reaching 8,586 meters.
Elizabeth Hawley, the 86-year-old American mountaineering journalist, is unofficially considered the final arbiter on such disputes. Ms Hawley had agreed to acknowledge Oh’s reaching the summit of Kangchenjunga and register it in The Himalayan Database, however marked “disputed,” subject to confirmation.
Edurne Pasaban on her way to the summit of Mountain Gasherbrum I  in 2008.
Edurne Pasaban on her way to the summit of Mountain Gasherbrum I, in 2008.
The name of the mountain, Annapurna, comes from Sanskrit, a classical Indian language, and translates to "Goddess of the Harvests". In Hinduism, Annapurna is regarded as the goddess of fertility, food and agriculture.
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