Chinese scientific expedition team summits Mt. Qomolangma
Updated 17:07, 07-May-2022
Liu Xun

Watch: The first batch of the 'Earth Summit Mission 2022' team holds Chinese national flag upon summiting Mount Qomolangma

The Chinese, once again, conquered the world's highest summit. 

China's "Earth Summit Mission 2022" scientific expedition team successfully summited Mount Qomolangma at 8,848.68 meters above sea level on Wednesday, with the first batch of team members arriving at the summit at 12:22 p.m. and the rest joining about an hour later.

The mission made its first breakthrough on Wednesday as 13 team members, or mountaineers, set out at 3 a.m. from their final camp at an altitude of 8,300 meters, and five of them installed the world's highest automatic meteorological station at 8,830 meters above sea level at 11:11 a.m. on the China-Nepal border. 

The last time Chinese scientists reached the peak was in 2020 when China and Nepal jointly announced the summit's new altitude of 8,848.86 meters.


Watch: Chinese scientific expedition team waves to us from Mt. Qomolangma 

There were originally 14 mountaineers participating in the final expedition. 

Carrying automatic weather stations and an array of radar equipment, the team set out at 2 p.m. on Monday and successfully arrived at the North Col camp, at an altitude of 7,028 meters, at around 7 p.m. The weather was calm, but one of the members was suffering from altitude sickness. 

On Tuesday morning, the remaining 13 mountaineers left the North Col camp at 9 a.m. and arrived at the final camp at 8,300 meters above sea level at night.

Sixteen teams with more than 270 members began the expedition on April 28. Only 13 mountaineers made the final trek to summit Mount Qomolangma, leaving behind the researchers, who may not be equipped to handle the harsh conditions.


Watch: How did experts choose the final date to ascent the summit? 

The date of the final hike was put off several times. 

Tsering Samdrup, headmaster of the Tibet Lhasa Himalaya Mountaineering Guide School, told China Global Televison Network (CGTN) that, in order to choose a best final date, their biggest concern must be the weather as the weather window is crucial for the expedition team.

After all, the team is climbing the world's highest summit with an environment of extremely high altitude, extremely low temperature, and extremely low level of oxygen. They certainly need the best weather window and weather conditions, added the headmaster. 

Researcher Ma Yaoming told CGTN that the best time should be a day with low wind speeds and warm temperature, and they had kept consulting with the Tibet Meteorological Bureau and The National Meteorological Center in Beijing.  

After joint analysis, the research team got the wind speed and temperature for the next few hours, the next day or even in the next two days. They shared weather information with mountaineers to guide their expedition especially on harsh weather when they might consider a pause or adjust their plan. 

"It's ok for them to stay and rest below an altitude of 6,500 meters", said the headmaster. At an altitude of 8,300 meters, it is impossible for the team to wait one more day. We have only one shot and we must succeed." 

World's highest weather station

Upon arriving at the summit, the mountaineers finished installing the world's highest automatic weather station at 12:46 p.m. and tested it successfully for data transmission. The weather station will help obtain data from the surrounding area, helping scientists better understand the world's third pole. 

Dechen Ngodrup, lead mountaineer of the Qomolangma Scientific Expedition, told CGTN that he and his team members were very proud to be part of the research. "We'll set up the world's highest weather station, and no country has done that before. Once it's installed, data can be transmitted back to base camp and scientists can start their work then."


Watch: China aims at world's highest weather station

The station, if successfully established, will then replace the one at an altitude of 8,430 meters set up by British and U.S. scientists on the south side of the mountain in 2019 and become the world's highest of its kind, according to the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The scientific expedition also aims to study the variation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the extremely high altitudes of Mount Qomolangma, achieving automatic observation and data transmission of meteorological gradients there.

For the first time, the team will use a high-precision radar to measure the thickness of ice and snow on the world's highest summit.

The first batch of the "Earth Summit Mission 2022" team summited Mount Qomolangma at an altitude of 8,848 meters on the China-Nepal border at 12:22 p.m., May 4, 2022. /CMG

The first batch of the "Earth Summit Mission 2022" team summited Mount Qomolangma at an altitude of 8,848 meters on the China-Nepal border at 12:22 p.m., May 4, 2022. /CMG

(CGTN reporters Tao Yuan, Wang Xiying, Xu Beibei, and video editors Zeng Hong'en, Liu Xincong, Yan Meiyi also contributed to the story.)

Read More:

China sets up world's highest weather station at altitude of 8,830m

Live: Chinese expedition team attempts to summit Mount Qomolangma 

(Cover: The first batch of the "Earth Summit Mission 2022" team holds the Chinese national flag after summiting Mount Qomolangma at an altitude of 8,848 meters on the China-Nepal border, May 4, 2022. /CMG)

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