Oh Eun-sun claims the record for becoming the first woman to scale the World's 14 highest peaks after reaching the summit of Annapurna in Nepal. However, there's still a row over the ascent of another Himalayan peak Ms Oh undertook in 2009, with some people disputing whether or not she actually reached the top.
Once she returns from Annapurna she will be questioned about the climb. It was reported that Oh crawled the final stretch to the summit on all fours and through her arms up in celebration once she reached it. It has been said that Miss Oh was prevented from reaching the top of Annapurna at 26,545 feet by poor weather conditions.
Spanish climber, Edurne Pasaban who is Oh's closest rival in the 14-peak challenge has expressed sceptism about her 2009 climb, where she claimed to reach the Summit of Kangchenjunga. Ms Oh denies all allegations made against her and her sponsors held a press conference in December last year where they reasserted her claim to have reached the summit.
Climbers that make the ascent from Nepal all have to report to 86 year old American, Elizabeth Hawley, whose research is recorded in the Himalayan database. She is accepted as the arbiter of the Himalayan climbs and all climbers must answer her questions about the climb. There's no official body that authenticates the claims. Ms Hawley has marked Oh's 2009 climb as “disputed” and wanted her to be questioned once again when she returns from Annapurna.
One of the main issues in this dispute is a photograph which Oh's sponsors say was taken at the summit but not on the “three or four square feet” right at the top. Elizabeth Hawley states that the photograph is “clearly” not taken at the summit of Kangchenjunga because Oh is standing on rocks and pictures of other people on the summit show them standing in snow.
This may be the case, but pictures of others on the summit from previous years have shown rocks close to the summit. Oh can still claim the record of her Kangchenjunga ascent because it still remains recognised in the Himalayan database. Miss Hawley's further investigations however, may lead her to change the status of the 2009 climb to “unrecognised” so Miss Oh would no longer be recognised as the first woman to have climbed all 14 highest peaks (or 12 8,000ers as they are known.) Nineteen men in total have completed the 14 summits, with the latest climber only completing the challenge last weekend.