Summit of Chinese adventurers 2009-06-16 08:26:39   Print

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 Photo)
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    BEIJING, 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 1988.

    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 1999.

    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)

Editor: Zhang Mingyu
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