Konbu aka Gonbu (also known as
is credited as being the 8th person to Summit Everest, and the
first from the North (Tibet-Chinese) side. He was the first Tibetian
to Summit Everest.
Gongbu was born in 1933 and became a
child serf herding sheep at the foot of the Himalayas. Gongbu's
mountain climbing started in October 1958 when he was a soldier of the
People's Liberation Army (PLA) serving as a bodyguard for the 10th
Panchen Erdeni in Xigaze. One of Gongbu's deputy platoon leaders
decided to join an expedition consisting of Chinese and Soviet
mountaineers and asked Gongbu to join them. After medical and
physical tests, Gongbu and 20 of his peers went to Lhasa and changed
their army uniforms for mountaineering garb. This was Gongbu's
first day as a new member of New China's mountaineering team.
The months to follow included intensive
training and workouts at the foot of the Nyainqentanglhi Mountains.
In 1959, however, Lhasa was caught in an army rebellion and the
training for climbing was halted as fighting the rebels began.
The Soviet climbers also had to pull out of the expedition for
Despite the many problems--both
man-made and natural--China decided to move forward with their plan to
climb Mount Qomolangma to "show the world that the Chinese could do
it." The State earmarked funds for the expedition and plans were
made to learn techniques necessary to conquer peaks over 8,000 meters.
Betwen 1958 and 1960, Chinese scientists studied weather, geology and
geography of the Qomolangma area. Gongbu was in charge of
building roads and transporting materials. When the assault
group failed at a height of 8,300 meters, they were forced to retreat.
When a new team was formed, Gongbu became part of it. The rest is now
history as the Chinese are credited by most today with the first summits on the
North Side of Everest.
and Tibetan team of 214 men and women, led by Shih Chan-chun,
makes the first summit of Everest via the North Col and
Northeast Ridge. Long doubted by Western mountaineers because
of the lack of a summit photo and the claim of summiting at
night, the photos and film the Chinese did release reveal that
they at least climbed the Second Step, the key to the route
(although Reinhold Messner claims he possesses documentation
proving they didn't climb it, so far this evidence has not
been produced). The final assault party of Wang Fu-chou, Liu
Lien-man, Chu Ying-hua, and the Tibetan Konbu aka Gonbu (also known as
Gonpa) assaulted the final 15 foot (5 meter) Second Step
headwall using pitons and team tactics. After Liu Lien- man
repeatedly falls off attempting to lead the pitch, Chu Yin-hua
takes off his boots and socks, and using a shoulder stand
last vertical pitch in bare feet! Exhausted by his effort, Liu
Lien-man is forced to halt at 28,600 feet (8,700 meters), but
the remaining three climbers make it to the summit where they
purportedly leave a plaster bust of Chairman Mao by a rock
And in 2001 he was
interviewed by People's daily (Chinese News Agency) which spelled his
name Gonpu (he was 68 at the time according to them.) The Chinese
ascent which was "discussed" for several years is accepted today as
the first ascent from the North side. The Chinese attributed their
success to the Chinese political system emphasizing the fact that they
prevailed on the route that the British failed at.
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.