Korean, Nepalese scale Nanga Parbat

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From L to R - Kim Hongbin, Pechhumbe Sherpa and Lakpa Nuru Sherpa.

By Asem Mustafa Awan

ISLAMABAD – Kim Hong Bin 53 became the first Korean to record the first summit of the season 2017 on Nanga Parbat, 8125 meters from Diamir Route on July 7 at 850pm.

The climber is unique as he lost both his hands due to frost bite on Mount McKinley in North America in 1991 while making a solo attempt.

He is handicapped but it never stopped him to follow his dream. Kim Hong Bin takes Reinhold Messener as his inspiration.

In his exclusive talks with this correspondent the 53 year old climbers said,” There is no life without the mountain and at very young age I set my sights for the 14 8000ers of the world.”

Kim has climbed 10 of the 14 8000ers. He was part of the first Korean ascent on Nanga Parbat in 1990 and it is after 27 years he accomplished his dream. He used specialized equipment for making the climb and showed different pictures of using the ice axes on frozen waterfalls.

He does cycling and skiing and won gold medals in special games in Korea and plan to participate next year repeating the same fete.

Giving details of the climb he said, “The summit time was 32 hours in total we started at 1:00 am on July 7 from camp 4 at 7400 meters and reached summit at 8:50 pm and then back to camp 4 at 9:00 am in the morning.”

“Nanga Parbat is hardest climb I have done in my life.”

Kim is also member of the Seven Summit club. Kim had a team of two dedicated Sherpas with him and the three made it to the summit at the same time.

The Nepalese Lakpa Nuru Sherpa and Pechhumbe Sherpa along with Kim recorded the first summit of season 2017 on July 7.

Lakpa Nuru Sherpa has been on Everest summit 8 times besides Manaslu two times and Nanga Parbat this year. Pechhumbe Sherpa has climbed K-2 and Nanga Parbat in Pakistan besides Everest, Makalu, Manaslu and Annapurna 1 in Nepal.

Pechhumbe Sherpa answering a query said, “We fixed 4500 meters of ropes on the mountain from Camp 1 at 4200 meters to Camp 4 at 7400 meters and little above.”

“The hardest part of the climb was between Camp 1 and Camp 2 the Kinschoffer Wall.”

There were no other ropes there, with snowfall and avalanche the ropes were all covered.”

Three more members of the expedition Ms Lou Jing from China, Sanu Sherpa and Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa made it to the summit on July 8.

Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Ms Luo Jing and Sanu Sherpa are  still in the mountains and will try climbing Broad Peak.

The 11 member multinational team included five Nepalese, two Italians, besides four representing China, Japan, Korea and Turkey.

Thirty-five year old Ms Naoko Watanabe a nurse by profession however had strong reservations about the way expedition was conducted. She spent a night in Camp 4 without food and tent and was left alone on Camp 4.

Ms Naoko Watanabe said, “I am very grateful as Pemba Thanduk Sherpa who left his summit bid and looked for me at Camp 4 and together we came down.”

Ms Watanabe has been on 9 Himalayan expeditions and has climbed four 8000 meter peaks including Everest, Makalu, Manaslu and Cho Oyu besides unsuccessful attempt on Kangchenjunga and Nanga Parbat. She has also attempted Everest in the past and was twice unsuccessful on Annapurna 1.

The two Italian members Nikolaus Gruber and Benjamin Gruber have already left for home few days ago and Turkish climber Muharrem Aydin Irmak left the expedition earlier this month.

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