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More Chinese setting sights on highest peak


08:34, June 05, 2013

Six decades after the humans first conquered Mount Qomolangma, a pioneering Tibetan mountaineer talked about how he had helped booming numbers of China's nouveau rich to scale the Earth's highest mountain.

Having personally stood at the top of the world in 2003 and 2008, 45-year-old Nyima Tsering now runs a training camp that aims to help non-professional Chinese climbers reach the 8,844-meter-high peak of the mountain otherwise known as Everest.

"In the past, Mount Qomolangma could only be reached by professional teams, but now more and more ordinary Chinese wish to join us," says Nyima Tsering.

For much of the past six decades, scaling the snow-capped mountain on the Sino-Nepalese border has been an athletic feat and a demonstration of national strength due to the great difficulties and dangers it involved.

But for Nyima Tsering and others in the new generation of Chinese summiteers, the mountain is also becoming a longed-for destination and a source of enlightenment for ordinary people.

"The older Chinese mountaineers challenged the peak with a strong sense of a mission to glorify the nation, but to me, climbing the mountain is just part of my life," says Nyima Tsering, who is also head of the Tibetan Mountaineering Team.

Since establishing the camp in 1999, Nyima Tsering has turned 40 local farmers into professional guides, who have led more than 200 expeditions to the summit.

Unlike others who regarded the ascendance to the summit as a victory of the human spirit over nature, Nyima Tsering says he always holds Mount Qomolangma in awe and veneration, and the feeling has not changed despite advances in equipment that have made the climb easier.

"We've prepared electric drills for digging footholds in our latest attempt to reach the peak this year, but I could not convince myself to use them," he said.

This reverence is now shared by his clients, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs. After making their fortunes amid China's transformation into a market economy, some of them arrived at the mountain in search of new life goals.

"The trips to Mount Qomolangma gave them new ideas on life - they became slimmer and thriftier, and they realized they had previously demanded too much from nature," he said.

"To climb the mountain, one only needs a few things, and fame and fortune are not among them."

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YaoChun、Liang Jun)

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