Captain Hong-bin Kim (57), a 57-year-old ‘mountainer without ten fingers’ who was the first person with a disability to climb to 14 positions in the Himalayas, fell into a crevasses while descending and went missing in the rescue process.
Captain Kim climbed Broad Peak (8047m), the third highest peak of the Karakoram Mountains in the northeastern part of Pakistani Kashmir, at 4:58 pm local time (8:58 pm Korean time) on the 18th local time. With this, Captain Kim achieved the feat of being the first person with a disability to successfully complete the top 14 in the Himalayas.
The 14 Himalayas are located at an elevation of 8000m or higher, △Everest (8849m) △K2 (K2, 8611m) △Kanchenjunga (8849m) △Loche (8516m) △Makalu (8463m) △Cho Oyu (8201m) △Dhaulagiri 1 peak (8167m) △Manaslu ( 8163 m) △ Nanga Parbat (8125 m) △ Annapurna 1 (8091 m) △ Gasherbrum 1 (8068 m) △ Broad Peak (8047 m) △ Shishapangma (8046 m) △ Gasherbroom 2 (8035 m).
However, Captain Kim was in distress during the descent process after climbing to the summit. Captain Kim was in distress while passing through crevasses at an altitude of 7,900 meters at around 00:00 local time on the 19th local time, and then sent a rescue request by satellite phone at about 9:58 a.m. local time.
A Russian climber who had been waiting at Camp 4 arrived at the distress site around 11 am local time and started rescue operations, but failed in the end. At first, it was known that Captain Kim was rescued from falling into crevasses and was descending, but this was incorrect information.
The Gwangju Disabled Sports Association and the Gwangju Municipal Mountain Federation said, “Russian climbers found the missing captain Kim from the crevasses, and even confirmed that he was conscious, such as waving his hand. It was raised to a degree,” he said.
He continued, “After that, while Captain Kim was using the Zuma (climbing machine), the rope loosened and he fell down. At 1:42 pm local time, I was informed of the crash of Captain Kim by a Russian rescue worker.” He said, “I requested a rescue helicopter from the Pakistani embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The local expeditionary force and the Pakistani government will cooperate to conduct the search,” he added.
Captain Kim lost all ten fingers to frostbite during his solo climb to the highest peak in North America, McKinley (60194m) in 1991, but overcame obstacles with indomitable will and fighting spirit and succeeded in climbing the highest peak on seven continents for the first time in the world with disabilities. In July 2019, he climbed to the top of the world’s 11th highest seal Gasherbrum I (8068m, Pakistan) and climbed 13 of the 14 8,000m-class Himalayan peaks. .
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