Eun-Sun Oh

Eun-Sun Oh

Korean climber
Date of Birth: 05.03.1966
Country: South Korea

Biography of Oh Eun-Sun

Oh Eun-Sun, a Korean mountaineer, was once hailed as the first woman in the world to conquer all 14 eight-thousanders. However, her record was later disputed due to controversy surrounding her ascent of Kangchenjunga. Despite losing the title, Oh Eun-Sun remains the first woman to conquer the highest peaks on all seven continents.

Eun-Sun Oh

Born in 1966 in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea, Oh Eun-Sun studied engineering at the University of Suwon in Gyeonggi Province. Throughout her life, she had a passion for mountains and mountaineering.

Eun-Sun Oh

Oh Eun-Sun began her journey towards her world record in 1997 when she climbed Gasherbrum II, her first eight-thousander. Her final expedition, the ascent of Annapurna, took place in 2010. This accomplishment not only made her the first woman to conquer all the world's highest mountains but also one of the fastest mountaineers. While Reinhold Messner, the first person to ascend all the highest peaks, took 16 years, Oh Eun-Sun achieved the same feat in just 13 years.

Eun-Sun Oh

The ascent of Annapurna was particularly significant, as it determined whether Oh Eun-Sun or the Spanish mountaineer Edurne Pasaban would hold the record. On April 27, Oh Eun-Sun planted the flag of South Korea on the summit of Annapurna. However, 20 days later, on May 17, 2010, Edurne Pasaban stood on the top of Shisha Pangma, making it her final peak, too. This raised doubts about who was the true record holder: Oh Eun-Sun or Edurne Pasaban.

Experts pointed out inconsistencies in the evidence of Oh Eun-Sun's ascent of Kangchenjunga, such as the blurry background in the photo and the slightly lower position of the Korean flag. As a result, experts concluded that the title should be awarded to Edurne Pasaban, who finished her ascents three weeks later. The video and photo evidence provided by the Spanish mountaineer appeared more credible and left no doubts among the experts.

Despite being unable to prove her record, Oh Eun-Sun remains one of the most renowned mountaineers in the world. No one disputes her title as the first Korean woman to conquer the highest peaks on all seven continents. After completing her monumental achievement, she decided to take a break from mountaineering for three to four years. During this time, she planned to pursue a graduate degree and engage in charitable work.

© BIOGRAPHS