A team of military mountaineers from the UAE Armed Forces, along with Sherpa support, recently scaled Mt. Himlung Himal, a majestic 7,126-metre peak in the Himalayas, 150 kilometres northwest of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.
The team of 16 Emiratis from the UAE Armed Forces in true team spirit projected three of its members to the summit on the morning of 15th October, in conditions that could only be described as extremely perilous.
Freezing temperatures, exacerbated by gale force winds, dropped to well below minus 25 degrees Celsius, forced some of the team members to retreat due to the real threat of injury from frostbite.
Undaunted, three Emirati climbers soldiered on into the teeth of the gale, gaining the summit some eight to nine hours after setting out from their high camp at 6,000 metres. A truly magnificent achievement by Mohamad al Dahoori, Abdulaziz al Tamimi and Tariq al Zarooni, all of whom were veterans of the UAE Armed Forces conquest of Everest in 2016.
The successful scaling of any mountain over 7,000 metres represents a major achievement, but one achieved under such difficult conditions as experienced on the 15th October makes the success doubly meritorious.
It illustrates the wider fortitude and determination of the UAE Armed Forces as reflected by the willingness of its officers and soldiers to challenge themselves in the most inhospitable of environments.
Of note, most of the team have extensive operational combat experience in theatres such as Yemen, yet still seek additional challenges to harden their individual ability to handle and withstand extreme pressure on behalf of their nation, reflecting very positively on the professionalism and resoluteness of the UAE Armed Forces as a whole.
This expedition is a precursor to an expedition to summit Manaslu, one of the world’s iconic 8,000-metre Himalayan peaks, in late 2021.
The Manaslu expedition will be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the UAE and a fitting way for the UAE Armed Forces to show its dedication and devotion to the nation.