The Shenzhen SMOA: Climbing Everest for over 20 years

Now Shenzhen   |   May 29, 2023
Ma Xiao, vice chairman and secretary general of Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoor Sports Association (SMOA), holds a banner of the association on top of Mount Qomolangma on May 11, 2021. Courtesy of SMOA

FOR the untrained, mountaineering is a dangerous pastime, not to mention trekking up Mount Qomolangma (also known as Mount Everest). In Shenzhen, 45 intrepid residents had successfully scaled the world’s highest peak 49 times as of this May, accounting for 15% of the total number of Chinese amateur mountaineers who have completed such an extraordinary feat.

The statistics were unveiled at a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the conquest of Mount Qomolangma by Chinese amateur climbers held at the Shenzhen Vanke International Conference Center in Yantian District on May 21. The gathering attracted the attendance of more than 500 from home and abroad, including Mount Qomolangma climbers, entrepreneurs from various industries and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Eleven of the Chinese climbers from different backgrounds who have scaled Qomolangma, including some from Shenzhen, have shared their stories with the audience.



Luo Weijian, a female art teacher from Luohu Foreign Languages School, ascended the mountain at 10:50 a.m. April 30, 2022 and became a member of the first group of people to reach the summit from the north slope after the summit altitude was jointly remeasured at 8,848.86 meters by China and Nepal on Dec. 8, 2020.

“Mountaineering made me understand the principle that slow is fast. In fact, there is no so-called shortcut in the world, only the method that suits you. Walking down-to-earth is the fastest way to reach the end,” she said.

Luo set several rational phased goals for herself, instead of aiming high. She started from trekking around mountains, and then tried to climb a common snow mountain. After that, she successively climbed the 6,178-meter Yuzhu Peak at Hoh Xil in Northwest China’s Qinghai Province. She also climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and world’s sixth-highest peak Cho Qyu before finally reaching the top of Qomolangma. Luo’s adventure stories and strong willpower are constantly inspiring her students to overcome academic challenges in their studies.

First hair salon

on highest peak

Li Chunsheng, general manager of a Shenzhen-headquartered hair salon franchise, took four years to go from a newbie climber to summiting Qomolangma in 2018. He also became the first to open a hair salon at the 5,200-meter base camp on the mountain.

Li said the idea came from one of his fellow climbers, who asked for a haircut when they were climbing Manaslu in Nepal, the world’s eighth-highest peak. The request was not fulfilled due to lack of tools.

It usually takes 50 to 60 days to reach the summit and it is nearly impossible for climbers to keep a neat hair style for such a long period of time. “As long as there are people, beauty should exist and be noticed,” Li said. He successfully opened a hair salon at the base camp April 18, 2018.

On the first opening day, Li’s hair salon received over 20 customers, including mountaineers from France, Australia, Mongolia, Nepal and other parts of the world.

Entrepreneur in his

70s aiming high

Wang Shi, 72, a well-known Shenzhen entrepreneur who founded China’s real estate giant Vanke Group, conquered Mount Qomolangma twice in 2003 and 2010, respectively, and he also shattered twice the record as the oldest Chinese climber who accomplished this feat.

Two months ago, Wang said at a Chinese entrepreneur forum that he plans to summit the mountain for the third time when he is 81, not only to break the record for the oldest age to climb to its top set by Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura at the age of 80, but also to continue to challenge himself.

Twenty years ago, the first Chinese amateur mountaineering team that Wang was a member of successfully climbed to the top of Qomolangma, showing the courage, wisdom and strength of the Chinese people.

“To summit Qomolangma is extremely difficult, but this process will definitely be fruitful and rewarding. You can find your potential through climbing. Climbing is just a stage goal in our life; you may go for this goal for a lifetime, or you may succeed the first time,” Wang said.

Both the number of mountaineering lovers and Qomolangma summiteers in Shenzhen lead all cities in China, which reflects local residents’ huge passion for the sport. As of this May, a total of 170,000 users had registered at the “Shenzhen 10 Summits” WeChat miniprogram, which had recorded about 640,000 times of mountaineering activities. Among them, over 5,000 people have ascended the city’s 10 peaks, according to statistics from the Shenzhen Mountaineering and Outdoor Sports Association (SMOA), which also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Over the past 20 years, SMOA has been dedicated to promoting mountaineering, providing an activity and exchange platform for outdoor sports enthusiasts, and making outdoor sports an important part of Shenzhen’s urban culture.

Mountaineering is man’s solemn tribute to nature and a rational way for mankind to examine themselves. The courage in venturing is one of the powerful internal driving forces of Shenzhen’s rapid development, and it also reveals why mountaineering and outdoor sports have flourished in this young and pioneering city.

ARTICLE FROM: Shenzhen Daily