Qatari Sheikh, high-profile climbers arrive in Kathmandu for Amadablam expedition

KATHMANDU: As the country opened for trekking and mountaineering activities from October 17, high-profile climbers from around the world have arrived in Kathmandu to attempt to climb different mountains.

A group of climbers comprising Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani from Qatar's royal family, Kenton Cool from the United Kingdom, and Garrett Madison from the United States, among others will be attempting to climb Mt Amadablam in the Mt Everest region, according to Iswari Poudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides.

“Most of the climbers including Al Thani have already arrived in Kathmandu to begin their climbing activities,” Poudel said.

Being a member of both the Qatari and Sharjah royal families, Al Thani, Reach Out to Asia’s (ROTA’s) Goodwill Ambassador, has already climbed the seven summits, becoming the first Qatari to achieve this feat. Born and raised in Sharjah, Al Thani, the father of three had also scaled Mt Everest on May 22, 2013, as a part to raise US $1

million for ROTA’s education projects in Nepal. Al Thani belongs to the Sharjah royal family by his paternal grandmother - sister of the current Emir of Sharjah.

“Himalayan Guides will have more than 12 members in the expedition team,” he said. Among them, Kenton Cool has already climbed Mt Everest for the 14th time breaking his own British record for the most summits of the world’s highest peak while Garrett, owner of Madison Mountaineering has also climbed Mt Everest 10 times. British climber and six-time Everest summiteer Tim Mosedale and Jon Gupta, owner of Mountain Expeditions Worldwide High-Altitude Guide in UK will also be attempting climb Mt Amadablam, according to Poudel.

Seven Summit Treks informed that it would also be running an expedition to Amadablam this season. “There will be more than 15 members from different countries who will be attempting to climb Amadablam,” Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at Seven Summit Treks, said. The team members include Sophie Lavaud, who is known as the '88,000

lady' among the mountaineering fraternity and is the first Swiss woman to have climbed 11 peaks of over 8,000 metres and Sergey Baranov, a renowned climber from Russia, according to Sherpa.

Earlier, Bahrain Royal Guard Expedition successfully scaled Mt Manaslu on October 15, making the year's first ever summit to Nepal's 8000er mountain. The team members of Manaslu expedition included Bahrain Prince Mohamed Hamad Mohamed Al Khalifa and other army personnel, Sherpa said.

TAG Nepal will be running an expedition to Mt Himlung in western Nepal this season, according to Managing Director Tendi Sherpa. “Four-member team will be attempting to climb the mountain,” he added.

All members will strictly follow health and safety protocols introduced by the government to stem the spread of COVID-19 before joining expedition here, according to the organisers.