RIYADH: Two Saudi Arabians have been awarded on their return to the Kingdom for reaching the summit of Mount Everest last week.
Saud Al-Eidi and Mona Shabab were welcomed on their return to Jeddah by Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Fahd, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Climbing. Saudi ambassador to US Princess Reema bint Bandar was also present at the ceremony.
It took the duo 60 days to complete the trek to the top of the world’s highest peak (8,850 meters). Prince Bandar paid tribute to their achievement and urged them to continue in their efforts to reach other world heights.
Speaking to Arab News earlier this month from Everest Base Camp, Shabab said: “One of my goals is for us to gently shake the world, to change misperceptions, and maybe even shatter some stereotypes. Many raise an eyebrow when they hear a Saudi woman has achieved something.
“Saudi women can, Saudi women will, reach whatever heights they set their mind and heart to,” she added.
Shahab now wants to scale two of the world’s highest seven summits — Australia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, and Denali, the highest point in North America. They form part of the world’s “Seven Summits” and the Explorers Grand Slam title — which requires adventurers to reach the North Pole and the South Pole in addition to the seven peaks.
Once she achieves that she intends to make her way to the North and South Pole on skis and become the first Saudi to complete the Explorers Grand Slam challenge. In 2012, she scaled the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain Kilimanjaro and two years later reached the peak of Mont Blanc in France.
Al-Eidi, on a different ascent, posted a picture to his Instagram profile once he reached the summit with a message thanking friends and family for their continued support after “six years of training and 60 days in the Himalayas.”
بحمد الله بعد 6 سنوات من التدريب والتخطيط و 60 يوم قضيتها في جبال الهملايا وصلت بتاريخ 23 مايو 2019 الساعة 7:30 ص أعلى قمة في العالم ( ايفرست ) شكراً @meem على ايمانهم الكبير فيني ، شكراً لكل دعواتكم ودعمكم يا أصدقاء. #الطريق_الى_ايفرست #everestexpedition2019 #everest
2019 has been one of the deadliest climbing seasons on Everest in recent memory, with at least 11 deaths so far this year.