South Korean climber feared dead after historic summit in Pakistan

Kim Hong-bin goes missing on Monday after falling into a crevasse while descending from 8,051-metre Broad Peak

AFP July 20, 2021

A South Korean climber was feared dead on Tuesday just days after becoming the first disabled person to climb all 14 of the world's highest mountains, officials in Pakistan said.

Kim Hong-bin went missing on Monday after falling into a crevasse while descending from the 8,051-metre Broad Peak, in the Karakoram range, Karrar Haidri, of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said.

Broad Peak is the 12th highest of the world's 8,000-metre-plus mountains.

Read more: Pakistani mountaineer Asad Ali Memon leaves for Kilimanjaro

Haidri said when Bin reached the top of Broad Peak on Sunday, he joined the exclusive club of top climbers who have summited all 14, becoming the 44th person to achieve the feat.

But coming down, he fell "towards the China side", Haidri added.

He said Kim was the first disabled climber to join the so-called "eight-thousander club", having lost all his fingers during a climb of Mount Denali in Alaska in 1991.

Sifat Khan, a senior government official, said there is little chance Kim could survive for long in the harsh conditions on the mountain.

Also read: Bulgarian climber dies during expedition on Pakistan's K2

"He's believed to be dead. No human being could survive for that long," Sifat said.

"Kim was descending when he slipped and fell down in the crevasse -- most probably to the Chinese side."

Kim was a part of an organised expedition with porters and tourist police, Sifat said adding a search operation would be launched as soon as the weather allowed.


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