Overseas expeditions by CAC and KAF

By Kim Jeong-tai

A KAF expedition party succeeded in conquering the highest mountain on the globe the Everest in 1977, and a CAC party successfully scaled Annapruna IV in 1978.

KAF was inaugurated in 1962 as the federation of 14 city and provincial alpine organizations. Engaged in general studies in guidance on mountaineering as a sport, KAF is a juridical person affiliated with the Ministry of Sports. It joined UIAA in 1970. Its successful scaling of the Everest was preceded by a five-year program featured by systematic planning, elaborate preparations, thorough training and reconnaissance. The program was formulated after a KAF party failed to tackle Lohtse Shar in 1971. In conquering the Everest, the expedition group employed prompt actions, shortened climbing schedule and camping and climbed the summit along the SE ridge on 15 September immediately after the monsoon.
CAC inaugurated in 1945, consists of over 5,0000 members and has 16 branches in provinces and the United States and 200-odd mountaineering clubs. A juridical person engaged in academic studies and scientific education and training on mountains and mountaineering. CAC is affiliated with the Ministry of Education and joined UIAA in 1969. Its representatives have been elected to the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission since 1974.
In succession to the training of 13 climbers at French National Climbing and Skiing School from 1971 to 1973, CAC conducted in earnest high mountain climbing education and training for organization leaders across the country for the first time in Korea on the one hand, and carried out planning, preparations and reconnaissance for high mountain expedition abroad on the other. As a result a CAC expedition party successfully scaled Annapurna IV (7525m) in 1978, climbing the snow dome for the first time and shortening whole schedule and setting up a record in erection of camps.

Prompted by the successful climbing of the Everest and Annapurna, tackling of high mountains abroad by Korean increased in frequency since 1979. Mt. McKinley(6191m) in America was successively scaled by parties organized by the Hankuk Daily News, Koryong Mountaineering Club and Korea University. In 19870 an expedition team of Tongguk University succeeded in tackling Manaslu, two previous attempts against which claimed 15 lives. A party from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Seoul National University conquered Aconcagua, the Andes (6960m) in Argentina and another from Aku Alpine Cub scaled for the first time the three major N Alpine peaks of Matterhorn, Eiger and Grande-Joras. Mountains tackled by Korean climbers have thus become diverse in natural features and locations.

CAC in 1982 dispatched a second academic expedition party to Makalu I (8481m), which succeeded in climbing the ice and snow wall on the E slope of the mountain's summit. They climbed the mountain in a unique way. A 6-member woman team from Sonkyung Group Mountaineering Club successfully climbed Lamjunghimal (6986m), a party of Songkyngwan University conquered Annapurna S Peak and still another from Yonsei University scaled three pinnacles of Mont Blanc.
In the second series of high overseas mountain expeditions, a two-man CAC team led by Nam Son-u succeeded in winter scaling of Pumori (7145m) for the first time in December 1982. A team from Taejon Seil Club of a provincial city climbed Kozumbakang (7806m) also for the first time. Ho Yong-ho, a CAC member succeeded to scale up Manaslu in May 1983 by himself and without using oxygen. A 5-member party of Aku Alpine Club tackled successfully Karakorum Baintabrakk II (6960m) in June 1983 in their second attempt (one was killed in the previous attempt of 1982). Two CAC members led by Nam Son-u also scaled Amadabram (6812m) in December 1983.

The first solo climbing of a 8000m-class giant without the help of oxygen, the first scaling of 6000m to 7000m class peaks by a small number of climbers in Alpine style and the first conquering of such mountains in winter, all achieved in the second series of overseas expeditions, indicate that Korean climbers are gradually catching up with their foreign counterparts in establishing records in first scaling the highest mountains in the world.