Monday, December 13, 2010

ExWeb Strips Oh Eun-Sun of Status As First Woman To Climb 8000m Peaks

Explorers Web has made the move to strip Korean climber Oh Eun-Sun of the status as the first woman to climb all 14 of the 8000 meter peaks due to the continued dispute over whether or not she actually reached the summit of Kangchenjunga in 2009.

As you probably recall, Miss Oh reached the top of Annapurna this past spring, which was suppose to be her final peak before setting the mark as the first female to scale all the big mountains. Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban topped out on Shisha Pangma a few weeks later, becoming the second woman to accomplish that feat. Or so we all thought. Controversy followed when Edurne issued a protest of Oh's Kangchenjunga summit after several Sherpas stepped forward to claim that the Korean expedition didn't reach the summit. There were also no photos of Miss Oh on the summit either, just some non-discript rock on the mountain.

Miss Oh has continued to claim that she did indeed reach the summit of Kangchenjunga, so the whole affair turned into a "she said, she said" affair. For the most part, the controversy simmered own, with even Edurne seemingly admitting that Oh had claimed the record. For her part, Elizabeth Hawley, the grand dame of Himalayan record keeping, has marked Oh's Kangchenjunga summit as "disputed" as well, not seeing enough evidence to weigh either direction. But as the days wore on, the mountaineering community came to accept the fact that Korean climber was the first to join the elite ranks of 8000-meter summitteers.

Last week, ExWeb made the move to strip her of that crown and hand it over to Edurne. I haven't read the complete report, as it is behind their new pay wall and not accessible to the general public, but it's pretty easy to get the gist of their argument. They feel the evidence against Miss Oh is strong enough to justify the move and the ExWeb editors feel that she never officially reached the top of the 8,586 m (28,169 ft) Kangchenjunga.

Has anyone bothered to spring for the ExWeb Subscription yet? Have you read the article? Thoughts on stripping Eun-Sun of the crown and giving it to Pasaban? Does anyone see this as the "official" view?

7 comments:

Buzz said...

Being the first woman to climb all the 8,000m peaks is a very very big deal. So the question is not, "Did she do it?" The question has to be, "Did she document it?" If not, she simply cannot claim a "First".

Going out and setting a "record" on your local crag is great, and your mates will probably take your word for it. But this project is massive, requiring tons of time, effort, and money, so there is no excuse for not documenting it properly.

It's like setting a record racing a Marathon. Unless the course was Certified, meaning accurately measured by following very specific established guidelines, there is no record.

The onus cannot be on us to believe or not believe Ms Oh or anyone else who wishes to claim a degree of fame and fortune. The burden of proof is on them, and she did not produce it.

Adventure Junkie said...

I think that's exactly where we're at here. Her "summit photo" was very inconclusive, while Edurne had great shots of nothing but a snow capped peak and open sky around her.

The Sherpas noting that she didn't make it to the summit are also quite telling. I always thought that was a pretty big strike against her from the moment the story first broke back in April.

Miss Oh also practically came out of no where in pursuit of this "First" with a major backing from the Korean government to achieve this task. They put a lot of effort and money into getting her up those peaks fast, while the other female contenders had been toiling away for years. That's a lot of pressure to succeed, which makes it all the more important that she document her successes.

Miss Information said...

Ms. Oh was financed by Black Yak and not the Korean government, as mentioned above.

Her "summit" pictures were taken, supposedly, just below the summit but were heavily altered to the point that nobody has any faith in their veracity. This alteration included the removal of a flag from one picture... a flag she claims was lost well below the summit. The flag in question was inexplicably found weighted down some 50m or so below the summit by subsequent climbers.

Of her three Sherpas, only one says she did not summit while the other two say she did.


Also, to be clear, the first team to question her Kangchenjunga summit claims was that of fellow Korean climber Ms. Go. and not Ms. Pasaban as widely and unfairly reported.


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Asim said...

This controversy has been created with some vested interest from the western world against the east. This type of attack was made to Chinese First ascent of Mount Everest from Northern side in 1950 & even in 1975. However western people could not substantiate their allegations against Chinese. Here also the main contender for the First woman 14 8000er Edurn Pasaban by hearing from others which is not at all acceptable. Himalayan Database keeper Mrs Elizabeth Hawley had detailed discussion with Oh eun sun & her sherpas & she apparently got satisfied with the replies from Oh & congratulated her for her Record. It is of no relevance to general Mountain loving people of the rest of the world to take notice of unilateral decision of Ex web's decision of stripping of Oh Eun Sun the glory of becoming the first woman to conquer all 14 8000ers.

climb mount kilimanjaro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Who's ExWeb, and who cares? Any climber that climbs top 14, 18,. 20, 24... - some 8000+ meters high - with consistently good and clear pics, is probably doctoring their pics. Or is ExWeb claiming that on8000+ meters high, there's no fowl weather, no snow storm, no nothing but a perfect vacuum weather for great pics?