Three years back, the Bahraini Royal Guard team was formed with a mission to reach the world's highest peak. The team, including Bahraini Prince Sheikh Mohamen Hamad Mohamed al-Khalifa, first arrived here in September and the following month, they successfully scaled Lobuche peak and Mt Manaslu in preparation to summit Mt Everest.

The team returned earlier this month to attempt to scale Mt Everest. The Department of Tourism (DoT) granted the expedition permit for Mt Everest to the Bahraini Royal Guard team today and they will be heading for the Everest expedition around first week of April. Amid this, the 34-year-old prince expressed his gratitude towards sherpa working in the mountaineering sector.

Photo: THT
Photo: THT

"Without the sherpas, I cannot imagine any of our expeditions," he said, "During both of our earlier expeditions, the sherpas worked really hard, which makes me very confident about summiting Mt Everest."

They are not only physically strong but also very supportive and helpful, he said adding, "The sherpa men as well as women are equally strong.

After climbing Manaslu and Lobuche, I feel there is no way of climbing a mountain without the sherpas."

Recalling the previous expedition, he said that scaling Mt Manaslu will always be memorable for him and his team.

"The exhilaration of standing atop the mountain made all the challenges in climbing the peak above 8,000 metres worth it."

Along with that expedition, the prince became the first Bahraini national to climb a mountain above 8,000 metres. And after scaling Mt Everest he will be the first Bahraini national to reach the world's highest point.

"I am really proud to hold this record and I am looking forward to climb more mountains in the coming days," he said, adding, "Our expedition will surely inspire more people from our region to try mountaineering."

People from the Gulf countries generally do not prefer trekking and mountaineering.

"While staying at luxurious hotels and roaming around is less taxing on the body but climbing the mountains, visiting villages and getting close to nature provides a whole new level of satisfaction."

Each climber in the Everest expedition team - which comprises of 16 members - will have two sherpa guides.

The expedition itinerary, however, is yet to be finalised.

Informing that 35,000 Nepalis are working in Bahrain and around 1,000 are working in the royal guard, the prince expressed his belief that the royal expedition will help further deepen the bilateral relations between Nepal and Bahrain in the coming days.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.