KATMANDU, 21st April, 2016 (WAM) — A UAE Armed Forces military team has arrived in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, to be the first official military team in the region to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world at 8,858m.
The team consists of 16 climbers, 13 of whom are military members of different ranks and units in the UAE Armed Forces, including a doctor specialising in sports medicine and altitude physiology, along with three experts specialised in mountain climbing expeditions.
The team is the biggest military team in the region to conduct such an expedition and one of the first official teams world wide to climb Everest after the earthquake which hit the area in 2015.
The expedition is expected to take around two months to reach the top of the mountain, having different phases. The team will climb gradually to get acclimatised to the lower levels of oxygen at different heights.
Major General Isa Saif Bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, received the team before they left the country, stressing that the UAE government, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is giving due care to the full training of the UAE Armed Force Members to enable them to work in different types of weather and conditions.
The team stayed for a few days in Katmandu, which is 1,400m above sea level, as the first phase to acclimatise them to altitudes, and also to obtain the necessary clearance from the Nepalese Government. They then flew via helicopter to Lokla, 140 Km east of Katmandu and 2,840m above sea level.
Lokla is considered the start up point for the expedition. The team will hike for 9 days through the mountains, staying overnight in different villages and meeting up with local Sherpas, the Mount Everest guides, to get used to low temperatures and heights, reducing the effects on team members until they reach the main base camp which is 5,364m above sea level.