Korean woman set for highest peaks climbing record

Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:46pm EDT
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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters Life!) - A Korean left Kathmandu on Tuesday to start the ascent of one of the world's highest peaks in the Himalayas, closing in on her goal to become the first woman to scale all 14 of the world's highest mountains.

Oh Eun-sun, 43, said weather conditions will be decisive when she climbs Mount Annapurna in west Nepal next week, the world's 10th highest peak at 8,091 metres (26,545 feet).

"It is autumn and there are too many crevasses and avalanches," said Oh, who is leading a seven-member Korean team to the peak. "But I am not scared. I am more careful."

Oh, who has already climbed Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, and 12 further peaks of more than 8,000 metres, will climb along the route pioneered by Frenchman Maurice Herzog in 1950 on the first 8,000 meter mountain ever climbed.

Only 17 men have scaled all the world's 14 highest peaks. Italy's Reinhold Messner was the first.

After climbing Mount Annapurna, Oh said she wanted to rest before deciding on future plans.

Asked how she felt about her attempt on Mount Annapurna, Oh said: "I don't have any feelings yet. I will see how I feel when I reach the top."

(Editing by Matthias Williams)

<p>South Korean climber Oh Eun-sun, 43, talks to Reuters in Kathmandu September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar</p>