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Tibet Guide

Kissing on the roof of the world

Author:tibetbest.net     Last updated:2013/12/17 17:20:35     Onclick:1565

One night in May 1999, Ringna and Gyigyai lay down to rest in their small tent at No.4 Camp, 7,900 meters above sea level. Without saying a word, they repeatedly simulated the way they would make the final push to the summit of Qomolangma. They are China"s first couple to ascend the world"s highest peak.Ringna, 1.8 meters tall, is an agile and brave Tibetan man. He is a world-famous professional mountaineer and a national record holder who has successively ascended 10 mountains over 8,000 meters above sea level. Gyigyai, 3 years younger than her husband, is also a professional mountaineer. In 1996, she reached the top of Mount Qomo Lhari, which is over 7,000 meters high.

Their common hobby of mountain climbing has helped bring them together. As newlyweds, they had the desire to ascend Mount Qomolangma together, and dreamed of leaving a kiss of special significance on the top of the mountain. They intensified their training to strengthen their physical power and improve their mountaineering techniques so they could eventually fulfill their dream.

The couple was fully aware of the hardship and danger in climbing Mount Qomolangma. With extremely perilous natural conditions, including the microthermal climate of 40 degrees below zero and the thin air with an oxygen deficiency of nearly 67 percent, the mountain has been considered the Forbidden Zone of Biology. Common high mountain ailments, such as hypothermia, frostbite, pulmonary edema, and cerebral edema, threaten the safety of mountain climbers at all times. In addition, on the way to the summit, climbers are often met with unexpected avalanches and snowstorms, as well as complicated landforms, including crevasses between glaciers. In the vicinity of Base Camp, at the foot of Qomolangma, there are several memorials to mountain climbers who have died in accidents. The simple monuments remind people that in this very area, matters of life and death are decided at a moment"s notice.

However, the general hope of all mountaineers is to stand on the top of Qomolangma. In 1924, George L. Mallory, a famous British mountaineer, arrived at the foot of Qomolangma. When asked why he was risking his life to ascend the mountain, Mallory Shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Because the mountain is there." These simple words have become a maxim, and have encouraged many mountaineers to successfully reach the summit of Mt. Qomolangma.

The next morning, after verifying all predetermined plans, Ringna and Gyigyai were ready to climb up to the height of 8,000 meters, or the Line of Death, and then assau1t the summit. At this moment, the coup1e thought of their daughter, Lamu. Before leaving, Gyigyai hid herself in their cross-country vehicle because she couldn"t bear to see their daughter cry.Ringna, though, embraced Lamu tight1y, kissing her again and again while he wept.

At Base Camp, the couple called their daughter via a maritime sate1lite system. On line, Gyigyai could only sob. She couldn"t say anything, so Ringna took over the telephone. "Why didn"t my mom speak; is she crying?" Lamu asked. "Tell her to stop crying. I"m fine, and I"m waiting for your triumphant return," Lamu continued. Upon hearing these sensible words, Gyigyai vowed to reach the top and return safe and sound to her love1y daughter.

In the first glimmer of dawn, the expedition team was to launch its difficult summit attempt. Because Ringna and Gyigyai can look after each other, the team leader put them into the same group. During the climb, Gyigyai was sandwiched between her fellow team members. Although there were dangers, the team arrived safely at the last camp before the final push to the summit, 8,300 meters above sea level.

The most dangerous climb was from the last camp to the top of Qomolangma, where the climbers had to scale a towering precipice covered by weathered stone. As they climbed, they had to firmly grip the face of the precipice to avoid any accidents, which cou1d cause injury or death, such as falling into the abyss. The youngest among the team members, Gyigyai became the focus of the team"s concern. Ringna climbed slow1y intentionally and advanced with her. Relying on her own indomitable willpower, Gyigyai stepped forward towards the summit.

On their way towards the top, Gyigyai panicked when she saw the remains of seven foreign mountaineers. Although the thought of death was terrible, the call of Qomolangma was irresistib1e, and encouraged her to climb upward.

After a 17-hour death-defying ascent, the team final1y reached the top. Cherishing his dream of getting to the top with Gyigyai hand in hand, Ringna waited for her about 20 meters below the top. Their dream came true. Standing on the summit, the couple communicated with Base Camp.

Base Camp: Have you both reached the top at the same time?
Couple: Yes, we have.
Base Camp: Have you embraced?
Couple: Yes, we have.
Base Camp: Have you kissed?
Couple: Yes, we have kissed on the earth"s highest point.

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