Reaching new heights for the State of Qatar, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, co-founder of Musafir.com, has climbed to the summit of Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe.
Sheikh Mohammed’s sixth major mountain adventure in the past two years in support of ROTA, Qatar’s leading educational not-for-profit organisation, was supported by co-sponsor Rahhalah, a U.A.E. adventure travel partner offering itineraries to exotic and wild destinations around the globe.
“Sheikh Mohammed’s determination to succeed is an inspiration to us all. On behalf ofROTA directors, staff and volunteers, I congratulate him on achieving this incrediblerecord-breaking attempt and thank him for all his work and support for ROTA and itseducational and personal development programmes,” said ROTA Executive Director Mr.Essa Al Mannai.
Travelling to southern Russia, close to the border with Georgia, Sheikh Mohammed and his companions began the demanding ascent of the 5,642m tallest peak in Europe. A dormant volcano along the Caucasus mountain range, Mount Elbrus has a permanent icecap and, in bad weather conditions, the wind chill effect can reduce temperatures down to -50°C.
Faced with the possibility of extreme conditions including high altitude, fog, wind and extreme cold, on the day of the climb to the summit, Sheikh Mohammed was faced with a tough decision – a storm was brewing that would make conditions considerably worse. When asked by the guide if he wanted to take the risk or wait four days for the weather to improve, he bravely decided to move forward.
Sheikh Mohammed explained how climbing Mount Elbrus is a punishing test of stamina: “The day of the summit climb was characterised by wind so strong (100km/hr), it was picking up snow and throwing it at me. In the face of skies that would not clear up, and temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius, I did not want to turn back; I was determined to continue trudging forward to reach the goal I had set out to achieve.”
As with all his mountain climb challenges, Sheikh Mohammed works in partnership with organisations like ROTA who champion education as a human right for every child.
“When I’m not climbing mountains, part of my mission and the reason I work with ROTA is to motivate young people to move beyond limitations and reachfor their dreams. I support ROTA’s youth development programmes which help young people develop initiative and learn to overcome challenges to reach their potential,” explainedSheikh Mohammed.
Conquering Mount Elbrus is Sheikh Mohammed’s sixth mountain challenge, having previously triumphed over the elements by climbing the highest peaks in, Africa (Mount Kilimanjaro), Western Europe (Mont Blanc) and Antarctica (Vinson Massif), attempted Latin America (Mount Aconcagua), and reached Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
Sheikh Mohammed reiterates that each climb is a distinct achievement on a rewarding journey. “Along the way I have learned to appreciate each mountain for its own set of challenges. Every summit is a lesson in patience, and is a call to the notion that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’.”
“I am inspired by causes that motivate people to challenge themselves, to change their perceptions or the way things have always been in the search for something better. With each climb, I move out of my comfort zone but come closer to becoming the individual I aspire to be.”
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