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
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
"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
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
"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
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
For more on Zeddy check the links below:
Zeddy Al Refai
reports from Everest the first time...
Dead men don't make phone calls
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