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Fundraiser for Um Hong-Gil Human Foundation
Um's Life Spent on Conquering World's Major Peaks
South Korean mountaineer Um Hong-Gil, chairman of Um Hong-Gil Human Foundation. He also serves as the chair professor Sangmyung University in Seoul. Courtesy of Um Hong-Gil Human Foundation

South Korea's most famous mountaineer and explorer Um Hong-Gil will host a charity event at The Riverside Hotel in Seoul on Dec. 8 (Friday), 2017. The dinner fundraiser "2017 Charity Night" will begin at the Banquet Hll on the seventh floor of the hotel at 6 p.m. on the day.

South Korea's great alpinist Hong-gil (嚴弘吉) was born in Goseong County in the mountainous Gwangwon Province on Sept. 14, 1960.

Um grew up in Yangju in Gyeonggi Province, graduating from high school there.

He went through the Hankook Unversity of Foreign Studies in Seoul. He majored in Chinese language and literature at the university. He earned a MA degree in physical education at the graduate school of the university.

He finished the compulsory military duty at South Korean Navy's special unit UDT (Underwater Demolition Team). He was the staff sergeant, a squad leader of a UDT unit.

While in the military Um swam across the East Sea, the sea between Korea and Japan, from Gampo on South Korea's eastern coastal area to Dokdo Islet on a five-day program.

The world-famous climber led a number of South Korean summer expeditions to Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. He successfully climbed South America's highest mountain on several occasions.

In 2000, he successfully climbed 8,611-meter K2, also known as Mt. Godwin-Austen on the China–Pakistan border. K2 is the world's second highest mountain only after Mt. Everest, which is 8,848 meters above the sea level.

In 2001 Um and his team accomplished the grand mission of climbing 14 peaks higher than 8,000 meters within the period of 12 years.

For this achievement Um was awarded the Himalayan Crown. Um is the first South Korean and the 11th climber on earth to made the achievement.

Um earned his nickname "Little Tank" among the world's climbers for his indefatigable spirit for the mountaineering.

Um lost several of his teammates on his path to the top of the world's major mountain peaks.

In 1999 Um attempted to scale the 8,586-meter Kangchenjunga, the world' third highest mountain located between Nepal and India, but lost two of his fellow climbers to the ice and snow of the mountain.

Undaunted Um tried to climb the mountain again in the following year, and he made his success. His fame rose both home and abroad, but his challenge to conquer world's major peaks went on.

After trying unsuccessfully to scale Mt. Everest in several years, Um finally reached the peak of Mt. Everest in 2002. He conquered the world's highest peak three times.

On Dec. 13, 2007, Um scaled and reached the summit of Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica.

Um became the first human being who successfully climbed a total of 16 highest mountain peaks on the face of the Earth.

Um's real life story as the world-class mountaineer was filmed by movie Director Lee Seok-Hoon in 2015. South Korea's famed actor Hwang Jung-Min starred in the film "The Himalayas," playing the role of Um.

As South Korea's most well-known alpinist Um is involved in a variety of activities on improving mountaineering culture in South Korea. He decided to dedicate the rest of his life to educating the future mountaineers in he nation.

As a way of realizing goal Um established "Um Hong-Gil Human Foundation," a charity organization named after Um in 2008. Um serves as its chariman of the board.

In 2010 Um founded a school for children in Nepal. He also set up a hospital for Nepalese on the “Roof of the World.”

Um also serves as a chair professor of Sangmyung University in Seoul.

For details or inquiries call the Um Hong-Gil Human Foundation at 02-736-8850 or leave an Email at






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