Doing things for the first time keeps the world interesting. It helps people progress and discover, but they have to be prepared to step over the edge. This is what four Maltese climbers, Douglas Barbaro Sant, Dr. Raphael Fenech Adami, Dr. Gregory Attard and Matthew Xerri are setting out to do with the support of Vodafone Malta. They will attempt to climb the North ridge of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain at 8850 metres. This will be the first time that Maltese climbers will be attempting to conquer the North ridge of Mount Everest, after the Challenge8000 Team conquered the South ridge in May 2010.
“We are delighted to be part of this exciting venture and are supporting the team by providing them with the latest Vodafone devices and technology to update the general public on their attempt at being the first Maltese to climb the North ridge to the highest point on earth,” said Sandro Pisano Head of Marketing, Vodafone Malta. “Vodafone has always been forward looking and continuosly strives to excel. Qualities such as determination, self-confidence and reliability are all qualities that the climbers must have in order to attempt this arduous exhibition and are much in line with our own goals. We would like to wish the team success in this attempt.”
The Everest14 team will be led by Dr. Gregory Attard and assisted by a team of professional sharpas. They will set off to Kathmandu on 4th April and will then travel by land to the Nepalese Tibetan border and gradually ascend to reach the Tibetan plateau. From there on it’s a couple of days Drive to base camp at 5150m. They will call Basecamp ‘home’ for over two months while they setup camps on the mountain and acclimatize by climbing to the North Col of Everest. The real challenge starts when the team climbs to Camp 1, steadily ganing altitude. Camp 2 at 7,500m starts the “High Camps”. The route is usually pure snow but can also be rock and is known for very high winds. At Camp 3, the team will start using supplemental oxygen and tents are setup on a 30 degree slope. This is where the summit push begins.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Dr. Gregory Attard said, “Summit day is what distinguishes the Northeast ridge from the South side. Albeit a bit shorter, it’s a bit more demanding due to the rock climbing involved at altitude. We must exercise our mental capacity to its utmost to keep an oxygen deprived brain concentrated on the tasks at hand. Clothing, hydration, food, ropes, oxygen reserve and pace; all must be checked during the hours of climbing before the summit. The route involves a steep climb from Camp 3 to the ridge, and from there on, the so called Three Steps must be climbed during the entire ridge traverse before finally going over the final crest and having the summit in sight. The amount of time spent on the summit depends on the time the summit is reached, weather conditions and the oxygen reserves. The decent is a race against time – one needs to get out of the death zone (below 8000m) where the body is slowly eating itself from within. Once at a safer altitude, we will start dismantling the camps and carry everything back down again in an effort to keep the mountain as clean as possible.”
To keep track on where the climbers are, Vodafone will provide them with four Android devices which will be used to take video journals and photos which will then be uploaded regularly on the Vodafone Facebook page. The climbers are also looking to collect Euro 1 for every foot they climb, for a total of €30,000 to give to Dar tal-Providenza. Donations can be made to BOV Account number: 4002207852-0 | Everest 2014 | Valletta. To keep up to date on the climb, visit Vodafone’s Facebook page on www.facebook.com/vodafonemalta or the Everest14 website on www.everest14.com.