Photo shows the flag of Beijing Olympic
emblem (L), the Chinese national flag (M), the flag of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) on Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp. (Xinhua
June 16 -- The Olympic torch's spectacular journey to the top of Mt. Qomolangma
last year highlighted how far Chinese climbers have risen in the past 50 years.
The All-China Federation of Trade Unions sent four
people in 1955 to learn mountaineering skills at a camp in the Transcaucasian
mountains of the then Soviet Union. The four crested a 6,673-meter-high peak in
the Pamirs three months later with Soviet teammates. Since then, Chinese
mountaineers have conquered many formidable mountains such as Mt. Muztagata,
7,546 m, in 1956 and Gongga Shan, 7,556 m in 1957.
An office in charge of the country's mountaineering
was officially set up by the government in 1958. The Chinese Mountaineering
Association was established not long after.
The Chinese mountaineering team ascended Qomolangma,
also known as Mt. Everest in 1960 by scaling the north slope from the Tibet
Autonomous Region, a much more technically-difficult climb than the
frequently-used south route from Nepal. They were the first team to reach the
top of the earth's "third pole" from the north side.
And on May 2, 1964, the Chinese mountaineering team
made the first ascent of Mt. Xixabangma, the last mountain over 8,000 m to be
conquered by human beings. In September 1979, China opened eight mountains,
including Qomolangma, to foreign climbers. A joint Sino-US mountaineering team
successfully reached the top of Mount Vinson, the Antarctic's highest peak in
Chinese mountaineers Li Zhixin and Wang Yongfeng
climbed the highest peaks of the seven continents during the 1990s.
China started to offer services to help mountaineers
In 2007, three Chinese mountaineers completed their
attempt to climb all the 8,000-meter-or-higher summits in the world (there are
14). Only 13 people in the world had previously managed this feat.
(Source: China Daily)