Park’s Grand Slam Expedition

I found this commemorative flag hanging on the dining room of my lodge in Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the magical Khumbu Valley in Nepal. It was hand signed by Korean alpinist Park Young Seok, the first human being in the world to ascend the 14 Highest 8000m Himalayan Peaks, the 7 Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), and reach the 3 poles (Everest, The North Pole, and the South Pole).

Park not only has ascent the 14 8000 Himalayan peaks in the shortest period of time in the world (8years and 2 months), but also holds the Guinness record for ascending the greatest number of 8000 meter Himalayan peaks in one year (6). In addition, he holds the record for reaching the South Pole in the shortest period of time (44 days) by purely walking on foot without any resupply of food in 2004.

Few months after I took this pic, Park and two of his climbing fellows disappeared somewhere in the south face of the most lethal mountain on earth, Annapurna… May his soul rest in peace in the Home of The Gods, the Himalayas.

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