Annapurna update: Miss Oh fights back, "disputed" mark remains

Posted: May 03, 2010 09:22 pm EDT

Instead of savouring the joy of becoming the world's first 14x8000ers lady summiteer, Korean Oh Eun-Sun is having a tough time.

Miss Hawley has decided that her Kangchenjunga summit will remain disputed until Edurne changes her mind; and there's the criticism from Spanish climbers on Annapurna.

No break after Anna struggle

Miss Oh and the Korean team were stuck in Pokhara all weekend due Maoist May 1st celebrations and strikes. Eun-Sun finally flew to Kathmandu today, and was interviewed by Miss Hawley in the afternoon. Liz asked Miss Oh about her recent Annapurna summit, but also the Kanchenjunga climb last spring.

About the expression disputed, she said there is no reason to change it unless Miss Pasaban cancels her accusation, ExWeb Korea correspondent Kyu Dam Lee reported. She added that the expression disputed does not mean not summited, and that she is a recorder, not a judge.

And the verdict is...???

Miss Oh alleged that KBS TV crew was with her during the spring 2009 expedition and could prove her claims with video footage and pictures. "I'm really sad that it has come to this," she told AFP. I am tired of climbing. I just want to rest at home for a few years.

"Oh will be credited for her climb to Kanchenjunga but the ascent will be marked as disputed," Hawley then told AFP after the debrief session. "Her account was completely different from Pasaban's so I really don't know who is right."

Black Yak responds to Anna accusations

Meanwhile, Yong-Hak Park of Black Yak answered over email to Kyu Dam-Lee regarding Spanish climbers claims on Annapurna that the Korean team had cut rope and not insisted enough on their sherpas to go and help Tolo Calafat.

First of all, I'm extremely sorry for Tolo Calafat," Yong-Hak Park wrote. "Whatever the Spaniards may say, I'm upset with any accident in the Himalayas. I didnt know Tolo, but was devastated at hearing his conversation with his wife over Thuraya.

Had the accident happened before Miss Oh's arrival in camp 4 we might have been able to help him. But the teams were exhausted after summiting, facing further dangers on descent.

Miss Oh and the Black Yak team lost a bag with food at an overhanging section, and were forced to climb Annapurna with only water."

"If someone asks why they didn´t help, I would ask back: have you ever climbed for over 20 hours with only water in Himalaya can you imagine how it feels to wait for more than eight hours during descent in such condition?

As for Sherpas refusing to help I don´t know who said that. The three sherpas waiting in C3 were only meant to support the summit climbers. They met with the two descending KBS camera men - climbing down ahead of Miss Oh - between C3 and C4 and escorted them to BC.

As far as I know, a climbing leader cant decide on the lives of other expedition members. If they are asked to help but refuse because they are exhausted, what climbing leader could force them? Leaders may not command others in such conditions. Otherwise, who would be responsible if a second accident occurred?

As for the fixed rope issue, Miss Oh talked to EFE (Spanish news agency) crew in KTM today. Asked about the accusation she retorted:

"I didn't remove any ropes at any point. Everything that happened on the mountain was recorded by KBS. I won't say who - Juanito included - did what that day. There were 19 people summiting: ask them all."

As for the Sherpas, Miss Oh said: "I asked my sherpas to go and help. They said they were not in condition to move. It was difficult for all of us. But - since when is money more important than human lives?"

(Ed note: on K2 two years back a Korean expedition leader was criticized for forcing his sherpas to aid in a rescue, resulting in the death of one of them.)

Meanwhile on Annapurna: Action not yet over

"Ehsan Partovi-Nia has been checked up by an Italian doctor after returning Annapurna s north BC and now he is waiting for one of the members of Italian expedition to join for summit push in a few days," IMZ news reported. The Italian team could be the one led by Abele Blanc, with only Anna to go on his 14x8000ers quest, but this is not confirmed.

News is also expected from S. Korean Park Young-Seok, currently climbing a variation of the Bonington route on the south face.

Links to 2010 Annapurna teams:

Edurne Pasaban

Ferran Latorre

Oh Eun-Sun

Kinga Baranowska

Nick Rice

Carlos Pauner

Joao Garcia

Xavi Arias

Juanito Oiarzabal

Horia Colibasanu

Martin Ramos

Peter Hamor

Park Young-Seok

#Mountaineering #topstory

File image of Oh Eun-Sun - media described the climber as "very tired" today.
courtesy Black Yak
Pasaban has words of understanding for Miss Oh, who she thinks was probably overwhelmed. The image shows both climbers discussing the route in Annapurna BC.
courtesy Al Filo de lo Imposible - TVE, SOURCE
Miss Oh on Annapurna some weeks ago.
courtesy Blak Yak
Miss Oh on Anna summit--broadcasted live by KBS
courtesy KBS, SOURCE

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