Backgrounder: Timeline of Mt. Qomolangma expeditions

2008-05-07 22:23:25 Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Following is a list of historical expeditions of Mt. Qomolangma, the world's highest peak, to which Chinese mountaineers are carrying the Beijing Olympic flame on Thursday morning:

1922 - George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce climbed up the North Ridge and Face to 8,320 meters on May 23 in the second British expedition using oxygen for the first time.

1922 - George Mallory led a third attempt of the same expedition on June 7, but set off an avalanche, which killed seven Sherpa climbers, the first reported deaths on Mt. Qomolangma.

1953 - First successful ascent to the summit of Mt. Qomolangma by the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal climbing the south Col Route on May 29.

1963 - First summit ridge traverse by a United States expedition, namely Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld, starting from the west and descending over the south-west.

1965 - Indian Nawang Gombu became the first man to reach the summit twice.

1975 - Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman on the peak on May 16.

1975 - Chinese Phantog became the first woman to reach the summit from the north on May 27.

1978 - Italian Reinhold Messner and Austrian Peter Habeler became the first climbers to reach the summit without oxygen tanks.

1980 - First winter ascent by a team from Poland (Leszek Cichy,Krzysztof Wielicki) on an expedition led by Andrzej Zawada.

1980 - Italian Reinhold Messner became the first man to climb Mt. Qomolangma alone and without oxygen tanks.

1983 - Lou Reichardt, Kim Momb, and Carlos Buhler became the first climbers to summit the East Face.

1988 - First successful meeting on the peak on May 5 when a joint team of China, Japan and Nepal reached the top from both the north and south simultaneously and crossed over to descent from the opposite sides. It's also the first time that the expedition was broadcast live worldwide on the peak and photographed from an aircraft.

1988 - Marc Batard completed the southeast route ascent without supplementary oxygen in the record time of 22 hours 30 minutes from Base Camp to summit.

1993 - Ramon Blanco of Spain became the oldest person to reach the summit aged 60 years, 160 days.

1995 - Alison Hargreaves became the first woman to climb Mt. Qomolangma alone and without oxygen tanks.

1996, 1999 - Cathy O'Dowd became the first woman to reach the summit from northern (1999) and southern (1996) routes.

2000 - On October 7 Davo Karnicar from Slovenia accomplished an uninterrupted ski descent from the top to the Base Camp in five hours.

2001 - Marco Siffredi of France became the first person to ever descend Mt. Qomolangma on a snowboard on May 24.

2001 - Erik Weihenmayer of the United States became the first blind person to reach the summit on May 25.

2007 - Katsusuke Yanagisawa became the oldest person to reach the summit on May 22. He was aged 71 years and 61 days at that time.

2008 - Chinese climbers carried the Beijing Olympic flame to the summit on May 8.