Saudi prince on way to Mt Everest

If all goes well,a prince from the United Arab Emirates will be atop the world’s highest peak on Wednesday.

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Published: May 21, 2013 12:26 am

If all goes well,a prince from the United Arab Emirates will be atop the world’s highest peak on Wednesday.

Sheikh M Abdulla Mohdal Thani,31,who has hidden his identity on the trip,is currently camping at South Cole (8,000 metres),only 848 metres away from Mt Everest,his trekking agency in Kathmandu told The Indian Express Monday.

The prince is part of a 24-member group split into two,the first group having already scaled the summit Saturday. A part of the first group was Moharrak Raha Hassan,27,who became the first Saudi woman to have scaled the peak.

Hassan came as part of a campaign that will raise $1 million to help provide education to needy Nepalese people. The announcement gave the first clue that she was part of Reach Out to Asia (ROTA),an NGO that Prince Thani is associated with.

The prince joined the second,smaller expedition team led by James Machael Horst,an American. Hassan’s team was led by another American,Garrett Christian Madison.

Foreign ministry sources said they had no idea about the prince being part of an expedition to Mt Everest.

Information gathered from Hotel Dwarika,where the prince and his team stayed before starting the climb,revealed that he was maintaining a low profile,meeting people outside the hotel but rarely telling anyone who he was. He discussed about how education could be provided,business promoted and poverty eradicated in the Himalayan nation.

Thani,who is also the managing director of the Golf and Shooting Club,Sharjah,is busy spreading awareness and raising charity money for various countries,sources knowledgeable about his current mission told The Indian Express.

He has,in the past,climbed Mt Acongague of the Andes range,the highest mountain in the Americas (6,962 metres) to support an awareness campaign against malaria,and has also been up to the Everest base camp.

There are altogether 31 teams,including a joint group of the Nepal and Indian Army,permitted to scale the Mount Everest this year,as it celebrates the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s marvellous feat.

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