Liew (4th left) with Ravichandran (on her left) and Mount Everest hopefuls, including two Sabahans Christian Dolph and Fareen Amiera Mohd Zulkhairi.
KUNDASANG: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment will consider the requests made by organisers of the just-concluded Global Expedition Club (GEC) 12th Malaysia-Asean Kinabalu Climb 2023 High Altitude Training Programme at the Kinabalu Park here.
Its Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the requests were conveyed to her by Ravichandran (who holds two records as the first Malaysian to conquer Mount Everest, and the only Malaysian to have scaled K2 in Pakistan, the second highest mountain in the world (after Mount Everest), after she had officiated at the Seminar on High Altitude Training, recently.
“GEC Malaysia and Global Expedition Training would like the State Government (through the Ministry) to adopt the annual Malaysia-Asean Kinabalu Climb.
“Presently, the expedition is organised once a year, and the organisers want it to be held twice a year from next year onwards,” she said in a statement on Saturday.
According to Liew, Ravichandran, who is the Chief Trainer of Global Expedition Training, had expressed the hope that the Government would provide Global Expedition Training with the right place and facilities for the training programme.
“His other wish is to invite foreign representatives from every Asean country to participate in the Malaysia-Asean Kinabalu Climb from 2024 so that they will go back to their respective countries and spread the news that Mount Kinabalu is the best place for high altitude training in preparation for the next mountaineering destination, that is, to conquer a higher mountain,” she said.
Asked what he meant by “facilities”, the 57-year-old Malaysian hero said he was referring to climbing permits in the hope of securing more from next year. “This time around, we obtained a total of 40 permits for the expedition. That is why we can hit 68 participants from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Korea and Iran. With more climbing permits, we will be able to tap potential participation from other Asean countries. Age is catching up on me. I want to impart my knowledge to others. That’s my duty,” he enthused.
Sharing his knowledge of acute mountain sickness (AMS) with the Minister, Ravi, who summited Mount Everest thrice, said basic knowledge of AMS is highly necessary to reduce trauma, long-term injury and even the risk of death.
“To minimise AMS, we shouldn’t use stuff like blood thinner. Instead, the best model is the natural way of adapting to higher altitude. One way is for one to go slowly, move at your pace. If you are 60 years old, you have your own pace; if you are 80 years old, you have a different pace.
“We only compete against nature, we don’t compete among ourselves. That’s the first thing we need to learn about mountaineering, which is an outdoor lifestyle,” he explained, adding that the older ones are more successful in mountaineering than their younger counterparts.
Meanwhile, Ravi paid tribute to Sabah Parks for the long-term collaboration in organising the Malaysia-Asean Kinabalu Climb. “This programme is our 12th time. Sabah Parks have come forward to talk about this programme, which means they are ready to take it to the next level. Sabah Parks will always be our partner,” he said, adding that the Parks’ authorities are working on the proposed training centre at Gurkha Hut.