Eom Hong Gil Featured

Let Me Introduce You to Goseong’s Eom Hong Gil, a 3-Time Everest Summiteer, and Koreans’ Diligence

Address: 335, Georyu-ro, Georyu-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gyeongnam

I want to share Eom Hong Gil’s story, a Goseong Native, and the hardworking character of Koreans, leading him to climb Mt. Everest 3 times!

Eom Hong Gil’s Story

Eom Hong Gil standing in front of the green countryside
Eom Hong Gil, center

Eom Hong Gil was born here in Goseong in South Gyeongnam in 1960. Living along a mountainside in his childhood was a disdainful experience for him at the time, while other kids enjoyed life in the cities.

His attitude towards the mountains changed as he progressed in his youth. He started to see them as opportunities to overcome challenges.

Yet as he took on the Himalayas later in life, he experienced setbacks such as death of those around him, and failed in his first two attempts at Everest.

Mt. Everest among a range of snowy, rocky mountains in the clouds

He even promised not to attempt Everest again.

I saw a picture of some of his toes. They were disfigured from what seemed to be frostbite.

Having lived in Korea for much of the last 3 years, and being married to a Korean, I have become familiar with the work ethic of Koreans, and the value they place on working hard.

Eom Hong Gil’s determination has led him to successfully summit Everest three times, and he is the first person in the world to reach the world’s 16 highest peaks.

An exhibition center dedicated to his life of failures, perseverance, and accomplishments was made for him here in Goseong, near Georyusan Mountain. I couldn’t take any photos inside, but it’s a very cool and immersive experience. There is a really cool room, more like a chamber, made to look like you’re in the Himalayas. It is filled with very real-looking snow and ice all around. The surround sound of howling wind, heavy breathing, and other sounds filled the chamber as a voice narrates excerpts of Eom Hong Gil’s diary. It transports you into a treacherous and deadly place.

The front side of Eom Hong Gil exhibition hall museum with bushes and trees surrounding the building

They have many pieces of gear he used on his expeditions. They are all so highly specialized, things that no normal human will ever wear in their lifetimes. His first Everest summit was in the 1980s, which is not even that long ago, yet I cannot imagine facing these kinds of challenges without the technology and knowledge we have today. I had never considered how complicated it must be to prepare and pack for expeditions such as these.

It’s also interesting how the exhibit explains the various climbing and survival techniques, for example, how to dig out a snow cave.

I prayed as I climbed up, promising that I would live my life giving back.
Eom Hong Gil faceEom Hong Gil

I saw photos of Eom Hong Gil with Nepali children. He decided to give back with life that was spared while face-to-face with death. For each of the 16 peaks he climbed for his world record, he has decided to establish 16 schools, especially for those children who find themselves in circumstances out of their control, with no dreams for their future due to lack of education and for the handicapped. Though perhaps less dire, I assume he keeps his own childhood circumstances in mind as he reaches out to them.

Playground and Rope Gym

There is a nice field and playground behind the exhibition hall. Our son Noah loves to come here.

Noah standing in a field of blossoming clover

There is a cool netted swing set facing Byeogbangsan Mountain.

A pair of circular swings facing a grassy field and mountains in the distance

The netting gives a sort of climbing feel. Noah tried out the swing.

There are also hammocks!

Yellow hammocks above the grass among small trees

Korea sometimes places these kind of measuring props in parks. It can be fun (or not) to see the smallest section you can fit your body between.

Measuring structures in the grass for height and width of a person

Then there is the roped tunnel and tent sort of thing which is normally not found in parks or playgrounds that I have seen.

It is a very pleasant place, especially to bring kids.

Landscaped Grounds & Paths

From the side of the field, stone steps lead back to the exhibition hall.

A paved path also runs from the parking lot along the side of the building to the field.

A paved path between bushes with a covered resting area with benches on the side

The area is landscaped quite nicely.

A paved path leading down a hill between bushes and trees nicely landscaped with a mountain in the background

Some swinging benches are at the bottom where the parking lot it.

Around the side of the exhibition hall, you can also pick up trails. This is a common starting point for hiking up to Georyusan mountain.

A little gazebo faces a town on the side of the parking lot.

A gazebo facing a town with mountains in the background

I hope Eom Hong Gil’s story has been inspiring to you as it has been to me.

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