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Chinese explorers to reach South Pole on foot(12/01/05)


BEIJING, Nov. 30 -- A 7-member non-official Chinese expedition team will participate in the South Pole expedition program this December as part of China's "7+2" program.

    The team is composed of Captain Wang Yongfeng from China Mountaineering Association, Ms. Wang Qiuyang who is the first Chinese woman to have reached the North Pole on foot, Mr. Li Weiwen and his wife Liang Qun from Shenzhen University, and three other members. They will walk to the South Pole and realize the dream of reaching the South Pole on foot.

    According to Wang, the expedition team will set off from Beijing on Dec. 1 for physical training and preparatory work in Chile and arrive at the Patriot Hills Camp 80 degrees south in latitude on the 15th. They will start their South Pole expedition on Dec. 17 and walk 120 kilometers on the Antarctic ice sheet to reach the South Pole on Nov. 27. After a short break, the expedition team will march for the Mt. Winson, the highest peak in Antarctic, from Jan. 3 to 6 next year and reach the top of the Mountain 4897 meters in altitude.

    The "7+2" program means an extreme expedition to reach the top of Seven Summits plus the North and South Pole on foot. It marks the highest level of extreme expedition of human. At present, no more than 10 people around the world have completed the program. By August 2004, four Chinese have reached the top of the Seven Summits, but none have completed the "7+2" program.

    This South Pole expedition on foot will be the last step of China's "7+2" program attempt. Successful completion of this expedition will set several records: Wang Yongfeng, Ci Luo and Liu Jian will be the first three Chinese "warriors" to complete the "7+2" program at the same time; Wang Qiuyang and Liang Qun will be the first Chinese women to arrive at the South Pole and Mt. Winson on foot, and Li Weiwen and Liang Qun will be the first Chinese couple to challenge the South Pole. 


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