Kim Chang-ho, a 44-year-old veteran mountaineer, will attempt to complete his climb of all 14 Himalayan peaks more than 8,000 meters high without oxygen tanks.
Kim will lead four other compatriots in a bid to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen. If he succeeds, he will be the first Asian to climb all 14 peaks without oxygen. He has already climbed 13 peaks sans oxygen.
The expedition, “From 0 to 8848 Everest,” will leave Korea on March 11.
The squad will attempt to accomplish two other records as well.
Kim seeks to record the quickest climb of all 14 peaks free of oxygen. If the squad climbs the 8,848-meter Everest by the middle of May, he will have shortened the current record of 7 years and 11 months by about a month. The team also aim to become the first climbers to go all the way from zero meters elevation without using fossil fuel.
Usually, Everest climbers arrive at 2,480 meters above sea level by flight and uses cars before climbing the world’s highest mountain. However, the Korean team will paddle kayaks at the starting point at sea level to travel 160 kilometers, then ride bicycles for 1,000 kilometers and walk 150 kilometers to reach their base camp, 5,364 meters above the sea level.
“A human-powered, oxygen-free climb all the way from sea level to the top will be very tough,” Kim said in a ceremony held in LS Yongsan Tower in Seoul on Wednesday to launch their expedition. “Our team work is very important in accomplishing the project.”
They plan to return home on May 30 after reaching the top of Mt. Everest around the middle of the month.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org