|Um Hong-gil Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 6 in|
|Date of Birth||September 14, 1960|
Um Hong-gil is a South Korean mountaineer who had, in 2000, become the first Asian mountaineer to scale all the 14 eight-thousanders (Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri I, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna I, Gasherbrum I, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, Shishapangma), recognized by The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation as the 14 mountain peaks that are more than 8,000 meters (26,247 ft) in height above the sea level, and are sufficiently independent of neighboring peaks. Although there is no precise definition of the criteria used to assess independence, The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, since 2012, has been involved in a process to consider whether that list could be expanded to 20 mountains. Later that year, he was named the ‘Person of the Year’ by UNESCO Korea. All these 14 eight-thousanders are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia, and their summits are all in the death zone (altitudes above a certain point where the pressure of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended time span). In 2007, he had become the world’s first mountaineer to scale all the 16 Himalayan peaks of 8,000 meters each.
Goseong-gun, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Jung District, Seoul, South Korea
- Father – Um Gim-se
- Mother – Lee Maeng-im
5 ft 6 in or 167.5 cm
69 kg or 152 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Um Hong-gil has dated –
- Lee Sun-rae (1997-Present) – Um Hong-gil had married Lee Sun-rae in 1997 and they have 2 children together – a son named Um Hyeon-sik and a daughter named Um Ji-eun.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Korean descent.
- Toned physique
- Side-parted, overgrown hair
- Affable smile
- Clean-shaven look
Um Hong-gil Facts
- Due to his steely determination and steely resolve, Um Hong-gil has been nicknamed ‘The Tank’ by his fellow mountaineers.
- Before starting his mountaineering career in the late 1980s, he was a member of the South Korea Navy between 1980 and 1983. He had left the institution with the rank of Navy Petty Officer Second Class.
- After he retired from mountaineering in 2007, he had, fulfilling a previous promise, set up 15 ‘human schools’ and a hospital in Namche Village, Nepal. His 16th project in the country was an educational town that had included educational facilities for students in kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school with indoor gyms and the eventual foundation of a university. For his services and commitment toward the underprivileged children in Nepal, he was later bestowed with the country’s honorary citizenship.
- These 16 projects were completed under the Um Hong Gil Human Foundation, one project each to represent all the 16 Himalayan peaks of 8,000 meters that he has scaled.
- He has also been involved in charitable activities in his native South Korea. He had helped an organization there known as The Beautiful Foundation to start a program called Gil Sarang Fund (Loving the Road) that supports cultural activities for handicapped people.
- In December 2015, a film titled The Himalayas had been released, which was based on his real life.
- In November 2019, he had been inducted into the ‘South Korea Sports Hall of Fame’.
Featured Image by Um Hong-gil / Instagram