By Raynald Rivera
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani will complete his seven-peak challenge after climbing Mount McKinley (Denali) – the highest peak in North America next year, the prominent Qatari mountaineer and philanthropist said yesterday.
“I have already climbed six peaks on different continents and there is only one left – Mount Denali in Alaska, which I will climb with my team in May next year,” Sheikh Mohammed said during the press conference yesterday after returning from a successful expedition to Mt. Everest.
Sheikh Mohammed, who is the Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) brand ambassador, has become the first Qatari to climb Mount Everest, the peak in the world with an altitude of 8,850m.
“Standing on the highest point on Earth was like winning an Olympic medal, the only difference was that I was not competing with others but with myself. Raising the Qatari flag to the top was the best time of my life,” he said.
It was his mother he called first when he reached the top, telling her “I’m on top of the world!”
Mobilizing for children’s rights to education, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani was accompanied throughout his adventurous two-month journey by a team of Arabs named “Arabs With Altitude”, which included his friends Raed Zidan, who became the first Palestinian to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Masoud Mohammad, Raha Muharrak who became the first Saudi woman and youngest Arab to summit Mount Everest and videographer Elia Saikaly.
Their Mount Everest expedition raised $1 million for ROTA’s education projects in Nepal. Sheikh Mohammed will resume training to stay in peak physical condition to head for his seventh adventure to summit Mount McKinley or Denali “The High One”, which is the highest peak of a mountain in North America with an elevation at summit of (6,194 m) above sea level.
For Sheikh Mohammed, mountaineering is a passion and his dedicated mission is to push his limits to reach the seven highest peaks of the seven continents of the world.
Among the other mountains he climbed were Mont Blanc; Mount Kilimanjaro; Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica; Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe; Mount Kosciuszko in Australia; Mount Aconcagua (South America), the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.
“Each of the ascents of the peaks brings with it a different learning experience about life. If there is one value that can be learned in mountaineering, it is patience. In the mountains, it’s all about patience and survival,” he explained.
Before he could climb Everest, Sheikh Mohammed said he underwent intensive physical training for four years.
“Each of the mountains I climbed was preparation for climbing Mount Everest, which involved not only physical training, but also training in other aspects such as weather and altitude,” he said. -he declares.
ROTA’s Director of Marketing, Events and Fundraising, Mohamed Al Naama, hailed Sheikh Mohammed’s achievement saying, “His achievement is an inspiration to all of us. Upon reaching the summit of Mount Everest, Sheikh Mohammed brought home the message that to achieve great things, we must not only do, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Hailing Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani’s achievement, ROTA Executive Director, Mr. Essa Al Mannai said, “By reaching the summit of Mount Everest, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani has made all of us proud. His achievement testifies to our belief that young people, with their contemporary skills, their creativity and flexibility, their strong social values and their sense of commitment, can achieve the impossible.
As ROTA Brand Ambassador, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani successfully took the message of ROTA to new frontiers that education is a right for all. THE PENINSULA