10x8,000er summiteer Oh Hee-Joon and Lee Hyun-Jo lost on Everests SW face

Posted: May 17, 2007 12:18 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) Oh Hee-joon, 37, and Lee Hyun-jo, 34, both members of the Park Young-Seok expedition on Everest's SW face, fell to their deaths while attempting the summit. The seven-member Korean team aimed for a new route on the highly difficult SW face of Everest. According to the AP, quoting Khadananda Dhakal, chief of Nepal's Mountaineering Department, the climbers fell at 27,200ft (8,230m) at about 2 a.m., while on their summit bid. Oh was one of the leading climbers in South Korea he had previously summited 10 of the 8,000ers four of them only last year. He had also skied to both Poles.

Oh Hee-joon's impressive résumé

At the beginning of 2006, and with six summits on his résumé, Oh decided to follow in the footprints of his good friend (and 14x8,000er summiteer) Park Young-Seok. Oh summited Everest in spring, then moved to the Karakorum and succeeded on a GI+GII double-header, and in autumn he still had the time and stamina to bag Manaslu. After Everest's SW face, Oh planned on leading a Korean team on Nanga Parbat.

The 37-year-old climber was known among teammates for his remarkable strength. When he started climbing, Oh used to deliver 47kg parcels to the Halla mountain shelter in Koreas mountains to make money for his training lessons. Oh also proved efficient on Polar expeditions: He was a member of Parks team at both poles (SP unsupported).

On May 11, 2006, Oh Hee-Joon summited Everest from its north side, along with some other Korean climbers and Sherpas. While Oh descended back via the same route, Park Young-Seok and Serap Jangbu Sherpa traversed down the Nepal side of the mountain. In summer, Oh summitted GII and then GI. On October 20, he summited Manaslu. When he headed for Everest's SW face in Park's team, Oh had a total of ten 8,000ers under his belt, with still Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat to go. This summer, Oh was appointed as leader on an expedition to Nanga Parbat.

Oh and Park were also together on both complete North and South Pole trips. The South Pole expedition was unsupported.


Oh Hee-Joon perished while attempting Everest SW face in Park's 2007 expedition. Image courtesy of Donga (click to enlarge).

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