August 27, 2010 11:18
Mountaineer Oh Eun-sun's claim to have climbed all 14 of the world's 8,000-m peaks in the Himalayas has been disputed by the Korea Alpine Federation.
"After scrutinizing the materials presented, we have concluded that it is difficult to believe that she reached the summit" of the 8,586-m Kangchenjunga on the Nepal-Tibet border in May 2009, the KAF said on Thursday.
It was the first official response by the KAF regarding Oh's claim to have conquered the world's 14 tallest mountains, capped by the ascent of Annapurna in late April this year. The federation's conclusion is expected to intensify the already heated debate over Oh's purported feat.
Six senior members of the KAF took part in the meeting, including Park Young-seok, who conquered Kangchenjunga in 1999, Um Hong-gil (2000), Kim Woong-shik (2001), Han Wan-yong (2002), Kim Jae-soo (2009) and Kim Chang-ho (2010). Suh Sung-ho, who climbed the peak earlier this year, gave his response by telephone.
"The topography in the picture, which Oh claims was taken on the mountain, cannot be seen at the top of Kangchenjunga, while her description of the process of her ascent is also unreliable," the KAF said.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, Oh said, "How can they decide if somebody climbed a summit based only on photos?" She demanded that the reviewers also hand over photos they took of their ascents of the world's highest mountains.
"If we reviewed those photos we could reach the same conclusions reached this time," Oh said. "But the KAF didn't send me those photos and I decided not to attend the meeting, because I felt it would be difficult to engage in an earnest debate."
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