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     Volume 9 Issue 38| September 24, 2010|

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To the Everest


Abdul Salam(Left). The serenity, solitude and sublime beauty of the mountains is maintained just on the top.(Right)

The thirst for adventure was the only mantra Musa Ibrahim knew while conquering Mount Everest being first Bangladeshi to ever do so. Even as we are still basking in the glory of our remarkable compatriot another Bangladeshi youth is gathering courage to hit the highest point on earth. Following Musa's footsteps, Abdul Salam, an expatriate Bangladeshi living in United Kingdom, is preparing himself for the Everest expedition.

Abdul Salam, a 35 year-old man, is going through the final phase of training necessary to get ready before climbing Mount Everest next year (2011). Salam, a university graduate from City University, London, is not following Musa only out of curiosity, rather for his longing to know the world in different ways.

His adventurous mind already took him to climb the Scottish Highlands, the Swiss Alps, high altitude mountain in Kyrgyvstan, Peak Chapaez (altitude 6200m) and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He also climbed Khan Tengi (altitude 6995m) but could not summit due to bad weather. Salam climbed Scotland in three winters and also walked on the British Mountains.

“I tried and I was scared at first. But after getting back home safely from the mountains, I felt the wonder. The serenity, solitude and sublime beauty of the mountains which is tenderly being maintained by the nature is just on the top. I guess I fell in love with the hills and could find a sense of freedom up there”, says Salam.

Mountaineering, which is accompanied by the risks of injuries and even fatality, attracts Salam. He finds freedom up on the hills. He finds doing something unique as rewarding and fulfilling. Climbing mountains is not the only thing that fascinates him. Adventurous and a bit of a dare-devil Salam, also took part in five marathons in different places like London, Berlin, Istanbul and Beirut.

On his continuous conquest over challenges Salam says, “I have not always been adventurous. It all kicked off when I ran my first marathon just to see if I could do it. This was in London in 2006. Not only was I able to do it, I actually enjoyed it and realised that if I plan and get myself trained I might be able to pull off the undoable. My horizons were widened really after that.”

The adventures of Salam did not end only in taking up new challenges, but also led him to work for a cause. He raised 13,000 pounds for Marie Curie Cancer, a cancer hospice in UK, by taking part in the five marathons and an overland road trip from London to Sylhet in 2004. His driving through UK-France-Belgium-Austria-Hungary-Romania-Turkey-Iran-Pakistan-India-Bangladesh in 28 days also contributed to the fund collected for the noble cause.

Salam has been secretly planning on the Everest expedition since 2006. He was also trying to manage a sponsorship. He went for the background training needed to go on Everest expedition and worked on technical mountaineering skills in Scotland, the Alps, and Tien Shan. He also has worked on camping and other expedition skills in Tien Shan and Alps and now working on the final leg of this personal journey, knowing that success is never guaranteed.

But uncertainty looms large over his 'Mission Everest' as the biggest hurdle to cross is to raise enough funds for the expedition. His job at Bangla Beer in London is not enough to gather the huge amount of 30,000 pounds required for his endeavour. His employer has agreed on providing a partial sponsorship for his Everest attempt. With only seven months to go before he begins his climb, Salam is getting worried about whether he will able to get the necessary sponsorship.

Musa's summiting the Everest is a great encouragement for Salam, who hopefully will be the next one to hold the Bangladeshi flag on the Everest and the first British-Bangladeshi to do so.



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