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  6Summits – 6 Continents


Clara Sumarwati [The First Ever South-East Asian To Have Reached The Top Of Mt. Everest]

 Proposes

6Summits – 6 Continents

Mt. Vinson – 4820 m – Antarctica's highest peak

Mt. Cook – 3754 m – Oceania’s highest peak

Mt. Kilimanjaro – 5895 m – Africa’s highest peak

Mt. Mt. Kinley – 6194 m – North America’s highest peak

Mt. Elbrus – 5643 m – Europe's highest peak 

Mt. Cartens- Indonesian highest peak

 

INTRODUCTION: My team and I are planning expeditions to Mt. Vinson (Antarctica), Mt. Cook (New Zealand), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt. Kinley (Alaska) & Mt. Elbrus (Russia), out of the experiences and successes of the following ones :

1.        Mt. Annapurna IV (7535 m – Himalaya) in 1990

2.        Mt. Aconcagua (6959 m – Andes) in 1993

3.        Mt. Everest – South Side Route (8848 m – Himalaya) in 1994,Mt.Cartens,Irian Jaya Indonesia 1994

4.        Mt. Kalapatar (5669 m – Himalaya) in 1996, Mt. Cartens, Irian Jaya, Indonesia,1996

5.        Mt. Everest –North Side Route in 1996 

Our “6Summits – 6 Continents” expedition will take place from May 2004 until April 2005 during the climbing season, and we therefore welcome any help and support in any moral or material ways.

A climbing achievement is not only rare and difficult, it is also time consuming. Success or failure can happen, like in any other sport, but one difference is the death risk in climbing activities is high. 

By the way, Indonesian achievement in climbing activities is low, compared to other countries, and one might ask whether Indonesians are able to reach the highest peaks in the world. This is the reason why I have decided to attempt reaching the summits of 5 of the 7 mythic peaks, which should be my sixth expedition.

The first one was achieved in Oct-Dec 1990 actually, when the “Putri Patria” expedition saw the first ever women team reaching the summit of Mt. Annapurna IV. The second expedition was to reach the summit of Mt. Aconcagua in Dec-Jan 1992-3. the third and fourth ones were my first two attempts to reach the summit of Mt. Everest (south-face route in Nepal – 1994). The third attempt (the fifth expedition) to reach the top of the world was eventually successful, via the north-face route (Tibet) in Jul-Oct 1996. 

My past experience of climbing achievement has therefore made me mentally strong & wise enough to aim at proceeding with a sixth expedition. And beside the physical aspects of it, I am willing to take advantage of this huge trip to share my experience with climbers from other countries, as well  as to meet with Indonesian students abroad.  

May God bless & help us for the success of this expedition.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Clara Sumarwati.

Expedition Leader

World’s highest peaks await Clara

 Friday August 16, 2002

Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta

Clara Sumarwati, 35, never dreamed of becoming a mountain climber as a child. She would be scared to climb a short tree at her home.

But mountaineering became her greatest passion as she grew up. In 1996, she became the first woman in Southeast Asia to set foot an the peak of 8.848-meter-high Mt. Everest. Her name is recorded as the fourth Asian woman and the 39th woman in the world to have conquered Mt. Everest. The achievement won her the Nararya Star award from the Indonesian government in 1996.

“I think I’m still the obky ASEAN woman ever to have reached the peak of Mt. Everest,“ Clara told The Jakarta Post while doing exercise at Kirana Health Club, Radisson Yogya Plaza Hotel.

Currently, Clara is preparing for a solo climbing expedition to four of the world’s highestt peaks : Mt. McKinley (or Mt. Denali, as locals call it) in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in South Africa, Mt. Cook in New Zealand, Mt. Elbrus in Russia, and go on expedition to Antarctica.

“If I have the found, I would also like to continue the expedition to Mt. Makalu in Nepal and Mt. Monterosa in Switzerland,” said Clara.

As part of the preparation, she plans to leave for the U. S. in October this year, or between April 2003 and May 2003, depending on the weather there. “I will take with me three Nepal guides for the expedition. I like the Nepalese because they do more than just lead the way: They also help carry the equipment, thus lessening the burden,” she said.

Clara will drop by in Massachusetts to shop for equipment and join a month-long practice at the American Alpine Institute as part of her final preparations, before starting the Rp. 1.5 billion (about US$ 165.000) expedition.

She started preparing early this year under the supervision of fitness consultant Joko Pekik of Yogyakarta State University sport school. A comprehensive program has been prepared for Clara to train partly in Yogyakarta and mostly in Jakarta.

The preparation program includes a three-time-a-week slow continuous run for some 10 minutes to 15 minutes; twice-a-week fitness and aerobic exercises, a once-a-month high altitude exercise in Gunung Gede Pangrango, West Java, a once-a-month rock-climbing exercise in Citatah (also West Java), and a strict low-fat diet.

Clara is required to undergo high-altitude testing at Lakespra Saryanto space institution, Jakarta, every three month and another test or her maximum oxygen capacity at the Ministry of National Education in Jakarta, also once every three months.

“Rihorous preparation is vital for the expedition. Lack of preparation could result in failure,” said Clara.

Born in Yogyakarta in July on 8, 1967, the sixth daughter of the eight siblings of Marcus Mariun and Ana Suwarti, Clara’s child hood dream was to become a legal expert. But she could not say no when her elder brother enrolled her to study eeducational psychology at Atmajaya University in Jakarta.

“Then I had wanted to become a guidance and counseling teacher at high school,” she said.

But destiny took another turn. After finishing her university studies in 1990, she joined in expedition to Nepal to conquer the peak of Annapurna IV 7,525 meters above sea level.

Luck was not aon her side. She had to stop at Camp 2 (at 7.000 meters above sea level) because the oxygen that the team carried was insufficient to continue the journey.

Her climbing spirits were high after she succeeded in conquering Aconcagua in Chile.

Her second attempt on Mt. Everest ended in failure in 1994 due to bad weather on the southern route (the South Col). She made another attempt in 1996, this time taking the North Col, where she sustained minor frostbite in one hand. She made it.

“When I realized I’d been frostbitten, I quickly took of the glove, which I later found out had a leak, and put my hand in my armpit before putting on a dry substitute glove,” Clara recalled.

Her passion for mountaineering grew out of her for mountaineering grew out of her curiosity about why most climbers failed to reach the world’s highest peak.

“I found out later that it was mostly due to their lack of preparation and patience,” Clara said. The lack of preparation makes the climber vulnerable to “mountain sickness”.

“Patience, too, determines the climber’s success. Sometimes, a climber lack the patience to wait for good weather to continue the expedition. If he insists on going ahead in bad weather, he will likely fail,” said Clara.

She has also planned to join the Asian women’s team comprising women mountain climbers from Indonesia, Japan, India, Nepal, Malaysia and Thailand, for another expedition to Mt. Everest via the South Col route, which Clara failed to complete in 1994.

“I want to make up for my failure in 1994,” said Clara, who is also planning to establish the Indonesian Mountaineering Association with in two years.

THE EXPEDITION IN BRIEF

Name                      “6Summit –6Continents” – Marathon Solo Climbing Putri Indonesia.

Date                        May2004 – April 2005

Location                   Mt. Cartens – Indonesia

                                Mt. Cook – New Zealand

                                Mt. Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

                                Mt. Kinley – Alaska

                                Mt. Elbrus – Russia

Goals                  Promoting Indonesia through Mountain Climbing

                         Improving Indonesia’s international image

                         Improving creativity and achievement in mountain climbing

                         Improving snow-climbing experience and knowledge

                         Improving & promoting mountain climbing in Indonesia

                         Improving & promoting Indonesia’s tourism industry through comparative studies

                          Improving & promoting Indonesia women’s condition, through achievements in climbing & sport

THE DIFFERENT STEPS

Preparation; At this stage, the expedition team needs both to train, gather funds and make the first expenses. We already have a basic capital for these first expenses, which is managed according to our top-priority needs.

Training needs also to be well managed, because such an expedition is unique. Everything is thought carefully, as we are conscious that the image of Indonesia is at stake. Actually, the success of our expedition depends on a good planning & preparation.

To reach the 5 summits, we will have to walk through snow and ice field, climb 600 angle slopes, which will need the use to ropes for safety reason. The normal route will be however chosen, as followed by the most experienced western climbers. This doesn’t mean this will be risk-free, since avalanches, snow storms, very low temperature and thick blinding fog will accompany us at every moment. Inaccurate timing, insufficient physical and mental preparation are therefore not welcome. 

This huge expedition will be aired by all major Indonesian TV channel and daily diaries will be prepared by the team-member in charge of communication. And as this expedition is one of the most sought after and arduous adventures, we will take advantage of it for helping different fields. We will first collect data, in order to help science in health development matters, such as resistance to altitude sickness. Psychological aspect will be studied too : mental behaviors in facing obstacles, for instance. This research will be done by a specialist in cooperation with KONI, the Indonesian National Sport Institute. All data will be collected and studied in Jakarta. The result will later go public.

One of our other goals is also to promote tourism in Indonesia as well as Indonesia culture & product. We will cooperate with the Indonesian Directorate of Tourism in this matter and we plan to organize different cultural events in every visited country.

On January 2005, we will then land at Soekarno-Hatta International airport, where we should be welcome by a huge crowd and the Media’s. a live TV interview is also planed, and by August we should be able to disclose a full report to state officials first, and also meet with different youth organization Not to mention all the publications in various magazines and newspapers.

The expedition: The expedition team consist of 7 persons who will first leave for France for technical upgrading courses. Up-to-date knowledge on snow & ice climbing activities will for sure be necessary, actually. However, all of us have considered the risks of such an expedition, based on our past experiences.

 

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