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  Arab climbs his way into the record book


Zeddy on the Matterhorn

Zaid 'Zeddy' Al Refai, the first Arab to summit Mount Everest, has climbed his way into the record books once again when he ascended Mount Kosciuszko on the Australian continent on January 5.

By reaching the summit of the 2,228 metres (7,310 feet) mountain, Al Refai has entered the record books as the 46th person ever to have completed climbing the highest Seven Summits on the Earth's seven continents, evaluated on both the Carstensz Pyramid and the Kosciuszko measures.

"I have closed the book now on my goal to conquer the Seven Summits by summiting both Carstensz Pyramid and most recently Mount Kosciuszko," said Al Refai upon his return to Dubai.

"At 2,228 metres, the summit of Kosciusko is the highest point on the flattest continent, but although the mountain is not considered that high in terms of elevation, we were faced with the worst weather conditions that made the ascent much more challenging," he said.

Zeddy and his climbing partners approached Mount Kosciuszko via the Alpine Village of Charlottes Pass and along the lesser travelled Lakes Circuit towards the summit. The conditions during the climb were atrocious, the worst-ever experienced by Al Refai's guide, mountaineer Major Zac Zaharias, a commanding officer in the Australian Army.

"I have summitted Mount Kosciuszko on numerous occasions, in the summer, winter, on skis, on foot and from many different routes. These were undoubtedly the most miserable conditions I have ever experienced on this mountain," he said.

With the Seven Summits now behind him, Al Refai will now turn his attention to creating the first 'Arabian Mountaineering Club', which most likely will be based in Dubai. The Club is envisaged to bring the 'lonely' sport of mountaineering to the youth in the Middle East.

"Due to geographical locations, its evolving position as a hub for sports and the initial support extended by its government, the plan is to set up the Arabian Mountaineering Club, the first such project in the Arab region, this year in Dubai," announced Al-Refai.

Born to Summit!

One of the things that fascinates us about Everest is who accomplishes things first, who they are and where they're from. Who was first up the mountain? That'd be Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay (or maybe George Mallory and Sandy Irvine - you never know). Who was the first American? That'd be Jim Whittaker.

Thirty-eight year old Zed "Zeddy" Al-Refai is the first Arab to summit Everest and the first to complete the Seven Summits as well. Zed, a Kuwaiti National born on October 28th, 1966, was educated in Finland and attended university in the US. He spent his holidays trekking in New England, the Rockies and in the North Pacific states. It's there that the passion for mountaineering really hit him.

 

Moving to Switzerland, with its climbing history and rugged Alps, in 1992 kicked his climbing career into high gear. He traveled to Nepal in the mid 90's where he was captivated by Mt. Everest and the Himalayas.

After extensive training in the Scottish highlands, the Chamonix valley and treks in South America Zed became the first Arab to summit Mt. McKinley (the highest peak in North America). It was the first in a long string of first climbs for an Arab. Zed went on to climb Elbrus (Europe); Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania); Everest (Asia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mont Blanc (Alps), Vinson Massif (Antarctica) reaching the summit on 1/13/2004, and Aconcagua (South America) on 2/5/2004 completing the Seven Summits.

The man who was once reported dead on Everest by "reporters" who don't check their facts, has done the 7!

In his words, "I'll try to go to Kosciuszko soon for a good measure. (We came a long way George). I'm after my good friend Kim Chung on the 7 summits list. Thanks for everything. Zeddy!!

For more on Zeddy check the links below:

Zeddy Al Refai reports from Everest the first time...

Dead men don't make phone calls

 

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 







 

 

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