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GLOBALink | Chinese expedition team head recalls journey to summit of Mt. Qomolangma

LHASA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The difficulty of the summiting mission this time is "beyond imagination," says Dechen Ngodrup, head of a Chinese expedition team who reached the top of Mt. Qomolangma last week.

The squad established an automatic meteorological monitoring station at an altitude of 8,830 meters, the world's 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.

Before last week's mission, Dechen Ngodrup had reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma four times.

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. last 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.

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.

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.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service