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GLOBALink | Expedition researcher recalls his "summiting" on world's highest peak

LHASA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- On May 4, 13 members of a Chinese expedition team reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak at 8,848.86 meters. The squad established an automatic meteorological monitoring station at an altitude of 8,830 meters, the highest of its kind. They also measured the thickness of ice and snow using high-accuracy radar and collected samples for further research at the summit.

Dechen Ngodrup, head of the squad who had reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma four times, described the difficulty of the summiting mission this time as "beyond imagination."

Dechen Ngodrup (L) sets up an automatic meteorological monitoring station on Mount Qomolangma on May 4, 2022. (Xinhua/Sonam Dorje)

According to him, everything went smoothly until they left the final camp at an altitude of 8,300 meters for the summit at 3 a.m. Wednesday, when they had to walk through snow that reached their knees.

"The safety ropes along the route were all buried by snow. Without the ropes for protection, we could fall at any minute," he said.

While trekking in snow, they had to pull the freezing ropes out of the snow and shook off the ice on the surface. "We spent some eight hours climbing the 500-meter distance," Dechen Ngodrup recalled.

Members of a Chinese expedition team set up an automatic meteorological monitoring station on Mount Qomolangma on May 4, 2022. (Xinhua/Sonam Dorje)

At 11 a.m., three hours later than scheduled, the squad arrived at the designated place at an altitude of 8,800 meters, only to find the snow was too deep for them to set up the weather station.

After reporting to the headquarters, the squad climbed for another half an hour and finally found ideal rocks at an altitude of 8,830 meters, where they spent more than an hour setting up the weather station.

Dechen Ngodrup poses for a photo at the summit of Mount Qomolangma on May 4, 2022. (Xinhua)

By 1:30 p.m. on May 4, all 13 members had reached the summit, and the team completed their research tasks.

The team returned safely to the Mount Qomolangma base camp on May 5, with all 13 members of the expedition team in good physical condition.

Members of a Chinese expedition team return safely to the Mount Qomolangma base camp on May 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Sun Fei)

Produced by Xinhua Global Service■