A high-profile royal family member from the United Arab Emirates was one among nearly 400 climbers who successfully summitted the world’s highest peak this season, it has been revealed.
Citing security concerns, the visit of the Abu Dhabi Prince Sheikh Theyab Bin Khalifa Bin Hamdan to the roof of the world has not been brought into public notice by all concerned agencies and authorities including the expedition team or its members, expedition organisers, Nepali liaison officers and even by the UAE Army or the government.
Among eight members of the UAE army team who celebrated the 40th anniversary of the unification of their services, by hoisting their flag on the Mt Everest, one of the members of the Armed Force Everest Expedition-2016 was Sheikh Theyab from the oil-rich country.
Avalanches were very common, we’d hear them if not see them on a daily bases. Less rest then the norm. From camp to camp always by passing camp 1. From base camp to camp 2. Leading to a 16 hour day on our first attempt. Absolutely depleted by the time we’d arrive at camp 2. It’s the type of tiredness that goes right into the depth of your soul. The first time up was always the slowest. We got quicker and quicker every time. The physical was never an issue, everyone had the physical. It’s not difficult. As long as you put in the time. We trained together, we pushed each other, some did marathons others did triathlons. Some of the training was specific. Some we did together. Other times we did in our own time alone, saved and uploaded on a data base. It was really the mental aspect that made us stand out. Climbing Everest is 70% mental. Especially those long days you just had to keep pushing. They seemed never ending. Night into day and day into night and we’re still going. No rest. It was just fueling the body on the go. At over 8000m (death zone), it was a different world. The body starts eating itself. I never really managed to sleep, it was only rest in my sleeping bag, to stay warm in extreme weather conditions. The constant threat of danger and potential death was always there, though you’d have to stay focused on the task. Over 300 climbers making this attempt died in the pursuit. At 80% less oxygen and up to 20 hours on the go, it was difficult to breath however personally it was more about my legs struggling to carry the weight. At that time it’s just survival. Food was always a mission to eat even water was difficult to drink. A simple task like putting boots on could take up to an hour. Already isolated from the outside world not knowing what’s going on. There was no room for emotions on the mountain. We carried rations (dried food) to feed on. Water was either what you carried on you or melted fresh snow. Some camps like camp 3 we had our tents tied down right on the edge. You’d have to be clipped into safety every time you left or arrived at your tent. It wasn’t a causal walk in walk out kind of thing. #Everest#UaeArmedForces
“Sheikh Theyab (27) is the member of Abu Dhabi royal family and also in line to be the next commander of the armed forces,” a source said, adding that his visit was not disclosed to the public for security reasons.
As the army team led by British national John Doyle left for Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, the prince was spotted in a very private function organised to handover summit certificates to the members of the expedition on Wednesday night.
Director General at the Department of Tourism Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal had handed over certificates to the climbers including Thayeb.
After being the first UAE team on the Mt Everest, along with Seikh Thayeb, other members including Tariq Ahmed Ali Ahmed Alzarooni, Nasser Hussain Ahmed Ahmadyan Alblosshi, Ghanim Saeed Mubarak Aldurs, Moaath Ali Ahmed Barhir Alnabi, Mohamed Sulaiman Aldhuhoori and Ahmed Ali Saif Al Yateem Al Mazrouei also scaled the peak on May 19.
David Mark Rasmussen-led ‘Desert Troop: Operation Everest’ filming group was also there on the mountain to shoot activities of the climbing team, sources said, adding that the team would work with National Geographic Abu Dhabi TV on the production of a documentary about the team’s successful climb.
“Five years of training together as a team has paid off. We have set up our own camps, carrying heavy loads to drop off at the high camps and came back down for more loads to carry,” Seikh Thayeb posted on social media.
“I have so much respect for every individual in the team… It has been 76 days on the mountain now! Time to go back home!”
According to climbers, Paul Alexander Stewart worked as the logistic manager while John Arthur Gerald Oxley handled the administrative part for their expedition
Bibhu Chand Thakur, Managing Director at Himalaya Holidays, however, said that his company only handled the Armed Force Everest Expedition from UAE, but was not aware about the details of the climbers.
“Eight climbers along with nine support staff summitted the Mt Everest,” he added. The army team was the first team from the UAE to reach to the summit on Mt Everest after Saeed Al Memari became the first Emirati to successfully summit Mt Everest in 2011.
News Source: THT