Peak performance in Tibet

10:41, November 26, 2009      

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Deqingouzhu (right) and Cirendanta take on Ruona Peak 2 in Tibet Photo: Courtesy of Deqingouzhu

When five of their seven-man team turned back mid-attempt due to fatigue, almost zero-visibility and the violent wind of the Tibetan Himalayas early on November 5, two students from China University of Geosciences (CUG) in Wuhan, Hubei Province were left alone to brave the white and carry on their expedition to summit Ruoni Peak 2, which until then had remained without a summit on record.

Native Tibetans Deqingouzhu, a 22-year-old management sophomore, and Cirendanta (Danta), 22, majoring in journalism, made the first officially recorded 6,805 meters high trek to the peak during an international mountaineering expedition jointly sponsored by CUG and Kobe University, Japan, celebrating 20 years of exchange and cooperation between the schools.

The Ruoni Peaks are located in the region bordering Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet, in which there are about 20 peaks all with an average height of 6,000 meters above sea level. Ruoni Peak 2 is the second highest in the cluster.

Deqingouzhu sat down for an interview with the Global Times Wednesday to recount the trials and triumph of his record-setting trek in Tibet.

Q: What got you into climbing?

I come from Shigatse, Tibet, which is on the road to Mount Qomolangma (aka Mt Everest). So I was around lots of climbers passing through from an early age. I think that's what really got me interested in mountaineering.

Q: Why and how were both of you selected for this expedition?

Danta and I attended Tibet Mountaineering High School in Lhasa where we received four years of professional training, including climbing skills, astronomy, geography and English. In 2008, it was our mountaineering background that got us into CUG.

Q: What made you choose Ruoni Peak 2?

No one had reached the top of this peak and we wanted to be the first. Kobe University attempted a summit in 2003, but had to turn back after 5600 meters due to bad weather.

In 2007, the two universities did a joint survey of the mountain and determined we could attempt a summit. We were going to try the following year, but due to administrative decisions made at our school, it was postponed until this time around.

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