KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Malaysian solo climber T. Ravichandran, 57, who has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest two times before, hopes to scale all the 14 highest peaks in the world within three years.
His confidence was given a boost following his successful climb to the summit of the second tallest mountain in the world (K2), situated in Pakistan, recently.
Ravichandran or fondly known as ‘Ravi Everest’ who was speaking through a Google Meet session said that based on his experience in climbing the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest and K2, the target was achievable.
“Come September there is a window of opportunity to climb a number of mountains due to the favourable weather conditions, especially (Mount Manaslu) in Nepal and Mount Cho Oyu and Shishapangma in China. However, due to the Covid-19 situation in China, there are limitations and cannot proceed. We have already conquered eight high peaks so far.
“Our targeted expedition for next year (March) is Mount Annapurna I and we will also try to return to Pakistan and scale Mount Broad Peek (K3) in July. We will try to scale a few other peaks within a year to complete our expedition,” he said during the online session from the Malaysian High Commissioner’s office in Islamabad, Pakistan, today.
Ravichandaran who was looking cheerful and enthusiastic hoped to successfully complete the mission and target, so as to ensure that the Malaysian expedition sets a legacy of becoming the first country in South East Asia to conquer all 14 highest peaks in the world.
Climbing with five other solo world-renowned climbers and accompanied by five sherpas, Ravi managed to reach the summit of the 8,611m K2 at 10.50am (Malaysian time) on July 22.
Sharing the experiences and challenges faced by the expedition members during the quest to conquer the K2 through the ‘Abruzzi Spur Route’, Ravi said the risk and difficulties were three-fold compared with the risks involved in scaling Mount Everest, and that it was why the K2 was also known as the ‘Savage Mountain’.
He said since the surroundings of K2 had less snow and more granite stones, climbers had to draw all their experience throughout the expedition.
“At times, we encountered small stones flying at speeds of about 200kph. There were also spots that never received any amount of sunlight, thus forming ‘Blue Ice’. Such situations would require the expertise of climbing Alpine mountains which is very challenging,” he said.
Ravi added that the summit attack (climb to the peak) from the third camp was carried out following favourable weather conditions on July 22.
“I remained at the peak of K2 for about 15 minutes and it was a wonderful feeling. I felt good and managed to record a video clip with my sponsors. That was one of the best climbs ever for me and I took my time to remain up there for as long as I could.
“I just couldn’t contain myself and started to shed tears. It was not an individual success but a team effort. We were all very energetic throughout the expedition,” he said.
Ravi added that apart from conquering the highest mountains in the world, he would also be involved in an expedition to the South Pole called the “Projek Antartika 2022” in November this year.
“We will ski for about 1,030km during the 60-day expedition. We will climb Vinson Massif — a large mountain in Antarctica that is 21km long, 13km wide with an elevation of 4,892m and situated on the Sentinel Range of Ellsworth Mountains,” he said.
The mission involves research on Global warming in Antarctica and the data collected would be submitted to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) for research purposes.
“I am an alumnus of UPM and being part of an international data gathering and research team would help lift UPM’s status globally. We have already reached an agreement for the mission,” he said in the presence of Deddy Faisal Ahmad Salleh who is the acting Malaysian High Commissioner in Islamabad. — Bernama