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First Disabled Man to Scale 14 Tallest Peaks Lost on Descent

Kim Hong-bin believed to have fallen into crevasse on Broad Peak in China
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2021 12:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – In reaching the summit of Broad Peak on the border of Pakistan and China on Sunday, 57-year-old Kim Hong-bin became the first disabled person—and 44th person overall—to climb the world's 14 tallest mountains, reports the Korea Herald. "As I could do it as a disabled person, everyone can overcome the exhausting situation of COVID-19," said the South Korean climber, who had all his fingers amputated after suffering frostbite during a 1991 climb of Denali in Alaska. Then came disaster. Kim was descending the Chinese side of the 26,400-foot Broad Peak, the world's 12th-highest mountain, when he is believed to have fallen into a crevasse on a steep glacier above Camp Three, according to climbing magazine Gripped.

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Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Pakistan Alpine Club, says "no information is available about him" since the fall, which occurred in bad weather. However, South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he's "not abandoning hopes" that the climber will be found alive, per the AP. Kim, who participated in the Super-G and slalom Alpine skiing events at the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, sent out a distress call at 9:58am Monday, per the Korea Times. Fellow climbers responded but failed to locate him. A larger search is now in the works, per the BBC. Haidri says helicopters will be used when the weather allows. (Read more mountain climbing stories.)

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