NEWSLETTERS - Everest Spring 2010

Newsletter 47 April 2010

Taking in the views at Dingboche

After having spent a day in Tengboche and its famous monastery (it was built in 1916 and actually destroyed twice – once in the big earthquake in 1934 and once in an fire in 1989), the team has now arrived in Dingboche, which at 4,410m is the perfect place to acclimatise. Most expeditions traditionally stop in Pheriche on the other side of the ridge, where the famous Himalayan Rescue Association is located.

This health post is dedicated to treat trekkers and locals for altitude sickness and is staffed with two doctors during the trekking seasons in spring and autumn. The doctors give a daily lecture in preventing altitude sickness.

However, as Himex has their own doctor, who I will introduce to you later, the team has opted for Dingboche, which is less busy and offers stupendous views from the above ridgeline that is dotted with colourful Stupas (small Buddhist monuments). From up the ridge the climbers will be able to see the snow-capped summit of Island Peak and get a good glimpse of the fourth highest mountain in the world, Lhotse.

Another interesting feature about the Khumbu area is the locals’ believe in the healing power of monks. Trekkers and climbers are sometimes surprised when they walk into a Dingboche lodge to find themselves having to share the space with 20 chanting monks celebrating a local festival or healing the ailments of the owners.

Anyway, while the team is experiencing life in the Khumbu and getting to know the colourful Sherpa culture, I would like to introduce you to another two members of the Himex team. I want you to meet the adventurer Nabil Al Busaidi from Oman and Danish climber Stina Pedersen, who works for Carlsberg.

Nabil Al Busaidi

Nabil Al Busaidi from Oman is currently living his life as an adventurer. The 40-year-old grew up in the UK and worked in banking, consultancy and aviation for many years. A few years ago, he took a huge turn in his career path, packed in his job in aviation and embarked on his adventures, which have taken him to the Magnetic North Pole, and to the top of Vinson in Antarctica and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Last year, Nabil accompanied his friend Rick Ryan on a 1,400-km record-breaking trip from Land's End to John O'Groats in the UK. Rick was doing the journey in an arm-powered wheelchair while Nabil supported him on his bike. They completed the journey in eight days and 10 hours. (www.rightforrememberance.org).

Nabil is currently living in Bahrain and if he makes it to the top of the world he will be the first Omani to do so.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?

When I went to the magnetic pole in April 2009, a lot of people in Oman and Bahrain were of the opinion that the pole was on top of Mt Everest. I was actually asked whether I had to climb Everest to get there, and that’s when I decided to climb Mount Everest.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Meeting my fiancée Maria from Denmark. We will get married this year, but only after the Football World Cup in South Africa is over (Nabil is a obviously a huge football fan).

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?

Altitude. The highest I have been so far was Kilimanjaro. My biggest challenge is the unknown and I have never been on such a big expedition before.

How do you think Everest will change your life?

Oman is not exactly a sporty nation and last year the ministry of sports gave me an award for sports achievers. It was great for me, but the sad thing was that there were very few people to choose from. If I get to the top, I will be the pioneer for Oman and I could become a role model. I could raise money for charity, inspire the youth and maybe even improve the image of Muslims in the world.

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?

I am not prepared for that. I spent a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong and if things go wrong, I hope I can overcome it mentally. I have back-up plans for human errors, such as having spare gloves in case I lose one. But I will really try hard to avoid these errors.

What will you carry to the summit?

An Omani Flag, which I have stuck on a pole that I used on the North Pole, Kilimanjaro and Vinson.

Stina Pedersen

Stina Pedersen is from Copenhagen and has a job that could be the dream job for many of us. The 35-year-old is the Sales Development Manager for Carlsberg Beer in Denmark.

How did you first come across Everest and who inspired you to climb it?

I am actually on this expedition because I want to climb the Seven-Summits, but I have also always enjoyed the stories around Mount Everest and have read a few books about it. In 2006, I climbed Kilimanjaro and discovered that I was quite good at altitude, which made me want to climb Aconcagua. On my first trip to South America’s highest peak, we had bad weather and were stuck in a tent for four days. We did not make it to the top that year. In 2007, I climbed Elbrus and went back to summit Aconcagua, however, it was not until I climbed Vinson in 2008 that I finally admitted to myself that I was aiming for the Seven Summits. I climbed Denali last year and if I get to the top of Mount Everest, I will finish the project with Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinnea.

What is your biggest challenge on this Everest expedition?

My greatest challenge will be the waiting game. I am a very impatient person and even though I learnt being patient on Aconcagua, when we were stuck in a tent for four days, I am sure I will be one of those people, who are too keen to go up. I will just have to pace myself a bit better.

How do you think Everest will change your life?

I expect Everest to give me some peace in life, as the Seven Summits is something I have set out to do and want to finish. Once I have completed this project, I will be able to focus on other things, like maybe starting a family. Everest will give me more perspective in life and will probably make me see what is important and what is not.

How mentally prepared are you for the possibility of not getting to the top?

I have been unsuccessful on Aconcagua and I know what it feels like not to reach the summit. If I have the feeling that I have not given everything I will get upset. I am a very determined person, and I normally get what I want.

What will you carry to the summit?

I will carry a picture of my family inside my downsuit close to my heart.