US-Myanmar mountaineering team 1st to conquer SE Asia's 2nd tallest summit
dpaYANGON -- A U.S.-Myanmar team has scaled Mount Galanrazi for the first time, proving it is the second-tallest peak in Southeast Asia, sources said Sunday.
September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The team, which included one Myanmar mountaineer and four Americans, started the ascent in the northern Kachin state on Aug. 15 and reached the summit on Sept. 7, said Paw Myint Oo, a spokesman for the Htoo Foundation that sponsored the climb.
The team arrived back in Yangon on Saturday.
The expedition initially set out to prove the accuracy of a 1945 topography photo which placed Mount Galanrazi 18.4-meters higher than Mount Khakaborazi, he said.
Instead, it apparently proved that Galanrazi is 9.2-meters shorter than Khakaborazi, Southeast Asia's tallest peak at 5,881 meters, also in Kachin state on the only snow-covered mountain range in the region.
“The team measured the height of Mount Galanrazi with modern GPS machines and sent the results to United States,” Paw Myint Oo said.
The climbers were reportedly the first to conquer Galanrazi, which lies in a remote part of Myanmar that has been off the tourist map for the past five decades.
“I think nobody cared about climbing Galanrazi in the past because it is the second-highest peak, so people were more interested in climbing Khakaborazi,” Paw Myint Oo said.
In 1996, a Japan-Myanmar expedition was the first to reach the summit of Khakaborazi.
The Galanrazi expedition was sponsored by Htoo Fundation, owned by Tay Za, a Myanmar tycoon known to have had close links with the junta that ruled the country during 1988-2010.
Tay Za, the owner of Air Bagan, has invested heavily in tourism facilities and services nationwide over the past two decades.