ABU DHABI // The Armed Forces team that reached the summit of Mount Everest this week has arrived back safely at base camp.
The 13-strong group of soldiers raised the UAE flag on top of the world’s highest mountain on Thursday morning, having received a message of goodwill from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the previous night.
Ahead of the final leg of their four-day climb, Sheikh Mohammed told them: “You men have already made me very proud with what you have achieved. No matter what happens tonight, you are already winners to our Nation. You should also know that I will be climbing with you in spirit, every step of the way. Good Luck.”
The team raised the flag in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the unification of the country’s Armed Forces.
To achieve the feat, they had to climb 1,600 metres over 17 hours from camp three, resting only briefly at camp four, in the “death zone”, while dealing with temperatures as low as -30C. They were also restricted by oxygen masks and cumbersome down suits.
After summiting on Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed text the team congratulations and also praised the 12-member Armed Forces women’s team, who returned home recently after climbing 5,364 metres to reach Everest base camp in the Khumbu valley in Nepal.
Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world, at 8,848 metres.
(via The National)