Woman becomes first Taiwanese to summit K2 without supplementary oxygen

07/23/2022 08:37 PM
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From Tseng
From Tseng's Facebook page

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Mountaineer Grace Tseng (曾格爾) has become the first person from Taiwan to successfully conquer K2, the world's second-highest peak and also considered the hardest to scale in the world, without using supplemental oxygen on Friday.

Tseng, 29, made the announcement on her Facebook page on Friday. Besides being the first Taiwanese, she also became one of the youngest women in the world to summit K2 without supplemental oxygen.

Tseng's successful ascent came on her second attempt to summit K2 after failing to do so when she scaled the mountain earlier this year under winter conditions.

Due to the hard weather conditions and difficult terrain, Tseng had to give up on her first attempt when she was only a few hundred meters away from the peak.

On her Facebook, Tseng said her failed attempt had added a psychological obstacle to the already difficult mission.

She said she was cautious this time even though the climb was under summer conditions, adding that she had thought that strong winds observed on Thursday would prevent her group of over 80 mountaineers from getting to the peak on Friday.

Thankfully, Tseng said, the weather was good on Friday, which helped her achieve her goal.

Regarding the last stretch of her summit, Tseng said "After overcoming slopes steeper than Mount Everest, difficult terrain, and low oxygen saturation, I finally summited K2 after climbing the ice on my knees in tears."

At the age of 29, Tseng is currently four months away from ascending five more peaks before completing her life goal of conquering 14 of the world's peaks that are at least 8,000 meters above sea level ahead of her 30th birthday, having already summited nine.

On her Facebook, Tseng also said that following her ascent of K2, climbing the last five peaks is not just a personal goal, but would also result in Taiwan finally having someone who had scaled all 14 of the world's peaks that are 8,000m above sea level.

Tseng's expedition was guided by Nepali climbers Nima Gyalzen Sherpa and Ningma Dorje Tamang.

Prior to Tseng, Taiwanese mountaineers Chang Yuan-chih (張元植) and Lu Zhong-han (呂忠翰) had teamed up to try to become Taiwan's first climbers to attempt to summit K2 without supplemental oxygen in 2019.

Both men eventually had to turn back after reaching around 8,200m above sea level, just around 400m short of summiting the 8,611m-high peak.

(By Lung Po-an and James Lo)

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