Update: First woman to climb world’s 14 highest peaks controversy

Posted By: Selma Al-Faqih on May 3, 2010 1:17 pm

Oh Eun-Sun descended the last of the “26,00- footers” today, May 3, the first woman to climb all of the world’s 14 highest peaks. “When I reached the top of Annapurna, I felt as if the world was at my feet,” Oh told AFP. “I am tired of climbing, I just want to rest at home for a few years now.”


Edurne Pasaban, a Spanish woman who is Eun-sun’s main rival, is only one mountain behind her to complete all 14 peaks. Pasaban is on her way to Tibet, where she will attempt to climb Shisha Pangma, the smallest of the 14.  She claims Eun-sun has not given enough proof that she complete a climb in 2009, on Kanchenjunga.


Elizabeth Hawley, an 86-year-old American journalist in Katmandu has maintained a database of all major Himalayan climbs for the last 47 years, is considered the unofficial officiate of all climbs.  She says Oh’s Kanchenjunga ascent is considered “disputed” because of the number of alpinists that have raised doubts.  She said when Eun-sun came down, they would talk.  The day has come.


“I met Oh Eun-Sun today, she said she had video footage to prove her ascent on Kanchenjunga and that she would send me some still photos,” Hawley said.


“Her account was completely different from Pasaban’s so I really don’t know who is right.”


Oh maintains that she climbed the mountain in dispute. “I have video footage taken by the Korean Broadcasting Service where I can prove my ascent of Kanchenjunga,” she said.