The Chinese woman who claimed to be the first to climb Mount Everest, following a high-altitude avalanche that killed 16 sherpas last month, has confirmed she flew in a helicopter for part of the ascent.
Wang Jing, 40, is co-founder of Toread, a multimillion-dollar outdoor gear company. She made the controversial climb on May 23, despite an unofficial moratorium due to the deadliest Everest accident to date.
Wang told Chinese media on Friday that the helicopter ferried her from Base Camp to Camp 2 to bypass the icefall area and avoid any risks, whereas at the time she said it only took climbing equipment and two sherpas there to help her achieve her ‘seven peaks in two months’ plan.
Over 1,600 people have commented on her Weibo post about reaching the summit, mostly criticizing her lack of morals.
One blogger wrote: “Even though you have tens of thousands of excuses explaining why, if you’re against the climbing spirit, you’re not a good climber.”
Another said: The glaciers on the summit are very delicate. A helicopter’s loud noise and propellers can directly or indirectly cause avalanches, ice cracking, and other incidents. She might cause future climbing accidents.”
A third commented: As co-founder of Toread, you violated the climbing rules, and haven’t apologized after cheating, but instead your company tried to explain with various excuses. The avalanche killed over 10 Nepalese guides, and several hundreds climbers were waiting. You said you did all this to achieve your 7+2 plan, but cheating won’t win people’s respect even if you climbed to the moon.
Chinese media criticized Wang over the weekend, with authorities clearly wanting to distance themselves from Wang’s actions.
A senior official at the Chinese Mountaineering Association said it’s an unwritten rule for climbers to walk “step-by-step” from Base Camp to the peak. Another official commented that it would be “ridiculous” if Wang is given a certificate for reaching the peak, China News Service reported.
You can watch a video of footage from Wang’s climb here.