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Burmese climbers eye Hkakabo Razi

Hkakabo Razi

Three Burmese men will set out to climb Hkakabo Razi in August 2018 in an attempt to not only reach the peak of the sub-Himalayan mountain but to accurately record its precise height.

Estimated at 5,881 metres, Hkakabo Razi is believed to be the highest peak in both Burma and Southeast Asia, although some scientific data points towards rival peak Gamlang Razi as higher. Both are located in northernmost Kachin State and form part of the range that separates Burma from Tibet/ China.

According to Zaw Zay Khine, one of the trio of climbers, measurements of the peaks were made over 70 years ago, but may have changed due to melting ice and other factors.

Zaw Zay Khine, who previously joined an expedition to Hkakabo Razi in 2014, will be joined by mountaineer Pyay Phyo Aung, who has scaled both Gamlang Razi and Mount Everest; and sports climber Aung Khine Myint.

The three say they hope their quest will help raise awareness and funds for the health and education of the ethnic villagers in those mountainous areas in the far north of the country.

But none of the trio will be taking the expedition lightly. In 2014, two Burmese mountaineers lost their lives while descending from the peak of Hkakabo Razi. Then, during rescue efforts, a helicopter crashed and a pilot froze to death in the wilderness.