Qatari climbs Europe's highest peak of Elbrus
Qatari Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, co-founder of Musafir.com, has successfully climbed Mount Elbrus which at 5,642 metres is the tallest peak in Europe.
Thi is his fifth adventure in the past two years in the name of Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) – the Qatari non-governmental organisation focused on making quality education accessible across Asia, and more recently Rahhalah –adventure travel partner offering a variety of active travel itineraries to many exotic and wild destinations around the globe.
Joining him on the climb were Massoud Kalafchi, Raed Zidan, Ziad Al-Sharabi, Ali Jaber and Abdulaziz Kafoud, along with videographer, Elia Saikaly. Together the group forms ‘Arabs with Altitude’.
Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano along the Caucasus mountain range in south Russia, has a permanent icecap that feeds 22 glaciers. While the climb is not considered the most technically difficult, it does require the use of crampons and an ice axe, while facing high altitudes, fog, wind and extreme cold conditions.
Come day of the summit, the climbers were faced a tough decision – a storm was brewing that would make conditions exponentially worse. When asked by the guide if the group wanted to take the risk or wait four days, the climbers decided to move forward.
Al Thani explained that this climb is a test of stamina. “The day of the summit was characterised by winds so strong (100km/hr), it was picking up snow and throwing it at us. In the face of skies that would not clear up, and temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius; we all agreed not to turn back, and to continue to trudge forward in reaching the goal we had set out to achieve,” he said.
He adds, “The tricky part was the descent. With wind trying to blow us off of the mountain, we had to maintain control and balance – because one slip and you’re gone.”
With each climb, Al Thani continues to work in collaboration with organisations that motivate people to dream big and do more. ROTA for one, continues to champion the cause of ‘education as a right for every child’.
Rahhalah – a recent entrant into causes dear to Al Thani’s heart – inspires people to look outside cliché vacation ideas, moving out of their comfort zones to explore all the splendour that the world has to offer, with a focus on eco, cultural and wellness, while always respecting the lands visited, along with their people and their culture.
The recent adventure joins four other challenging climbs that include Mount Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Blanc and Vinson.