First Everest, now tough European ultra-trail race, Hong Kong climber reveals

Former teacher also reveals she received HK$320,000 for her groundbreaking Everest climb from an anonymous elderly donor

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 4:10pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 4:31pm

The first Hong Kong woman to climb Mount Everest said her next goal would be to take part in a tough 101km ultra-trail race in Switzerland and a 20km event in Italy.

Shrugging off criticism that she did not stop to save dying climbers on her way to the top of Everest, Ada Tsang Yin-hung said she now just wanted to focus on preparing for the coming races.

“I want to let my students see how important it is to be persistent in doing things despite all the difficulties along the way,” she said.

Hong Kong teacher Ada Tsang makes safe return to base camp after Everest climb

The Eiger Ultra Trail Race takes in the highest summit in the Bernese Alps in western Switzerland. It has a height difference of 6,700 metres, which makes it one of the toughest races in the world.

Having registered for the race before her journey to Mount Everest, Tsang said although she was paid well in her 17 years as a teacher, this would be the first time she steps on to European soil to participate in a race due to her tight budget.

“I spent all my money on preparing for races and equipment. I have no savings at all,” she said.

Initially wanting to borrow HK$320,000 from a bank for her Everest trip in 2014, Tsang said she was lucky enough to receive the money from a kind anonymous “elderly donor”.

“The kind-hearted sponsor read news about me in local media, after which that person decided to help me pursue my dream.” Tsang said.

Saving someone on Everest takes more than courage, climber says amid Ada Tsang controversy

Her hotel accommodation and flights during her stay in Europe for taking part in the races will be sponsored by an online travel company.

Tsang, 40, reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 21 together with fellow Hongkonger Elton Ng Chun-ting and mainland Chinese mountaineer Zhang Jianguo with the help of two Sherpa guides.

Tsang also faced criticism over her climb because rubbish might be left on the mountain and the peak might be damaged. However, she thought climbers in general knew the importance of protecting the environment.

“I could not see a single piece of paper or cigarette even when I was climbing mountains in mainland China,” she added.