Yesterday I mentioned that Korean climber Oh Eun-Sun had successfully topped out on Annapurna, and in the process had become the first woman to summit all 14 of the 8000 meter peaks. In that same story, I also noted Miss Oh’s claim to that title was being disputed and that controversy was already afoot over the whole affair.
The National Geographic Adventure Blog has posted a good article that recaps the story and takes a look at this brewing controversy a bit more closely. It seems that Miss Oh’s summit of Kangchenjunga last year is the one that is in dispute, as there are no photos showing the Korean woman at the summit. Instead, the only photographic evidence that is being offered is an image that is well below the top. In her defense, Miss Oh says that weather conditions at the summit made it impossible for her to stay their long enough to take a photo.
The Kangchenjunga climb has especially been called into question by Edurne Pasabán, the talented Spanish climber who needs to just knock off Shisha Pangma to complete her list of 8000 meter peaks, something she expects to do in the next couple of weeks. Edurne says she decided to speak out on the subject after her own climbing record was examined and called into question by South Korean television reporters last week.
As if that wasn’t enough to cause a stir, Miss Elizabeth Hawley, who is the definitive expert on all things related to climbing in the Himalaya, has weighted in on the topic as well. She says that there is enough doubt cast on Miss Oh’s Kangchenjunga summit to warrant an investigation.
In the end, I suppose the mountaineering community will decide.
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