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August 2012 - Moe Al Thani
First Qatari man to summit Mount Everest and to climb the Seven Summits.
First Qatari, Mount Everest, Entrepreneur, Qatar's royal family, Mountaineer, Brand ambassador for Reach Out To Asia, Founder of musafir.com, Sharjah Paintball Park, Grab n’ Go, Al Nawras Hospitality, Tamween Catering
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August 2012

Acclimatization Day 2

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   1 Comment

Today was another good weather day which I hope continues. Mount Elbrus is known for the sudden change of weather. We did not take the chair lift up today instead we started with a beautiful hike in the woods for about an hour before gradually going up. After 2 hrs it got really intense with up to 60% incline up a wall. What is really interesting is how the government here are taking serious steps to avoid avalanches wiping out the city. We passed by a military tank that is aimed at the mountain in case of an avalanche they hit it and diffuses the avalanches to smaller ice falls that won’t ruin as much.

We had enjoyed the hike a lot, it took scrambling, climbing and a lot of energy to do it but totally worth it. We reached 3000m today a bit lower than yesterday but we started much lower. By doing this we built millions and millions of red blood cells that will help our blood circulation when we go higher. At the highest point we reached today there was a very old observatory, that was used in the Soviet days to watch the boarder with Georgia.

Before we headed down, me, Ali, and Elia were filming a short clip. The team went ahead of us. When we followed them they were way ahead, so we started guessing the way down. We heard Vern saying it was steep so we decided to take the way we felt right. That was very steep, we kept going down and finding that it’s a cliff and keep moving diagonally until we found a safer path. By the time we knew we were on the wrong path, we didn’t want to go back all the way up. So we continued going down until we hit the road and met up with the rest of the team.

From there it was another 2 hours down to where the car was to drop us back to our hotel. This concludes our 2 day acclimatization hikes in the valley. Tomorrow we head up to the huts, Where we will be training and some introduction to the newbies about glacier travel, self arrest, and crevasse rescue. From here onwards I will be using audio blogs from the satellite phone hope it works well.

I will leave you with an amazing song our fellow climber and friend wrote today Abdulaziz (Abz)

“Its like me moe n mass,trying to find nemo in this grass,give them supreme blows when they ask,’cause I’m trying to make my dreams grow with this task,(get em) like all the places I wanna summit,its my vacation you’re running from it,and if they hate it then I love it,(like) some nice racks on a bride,with an ice axe by my side,they’re trying to make us fall but we fight back and glide,weather so cold only the heartless will survive,and yea we’re growing bold b*#%h we departed and arrived,left all my troubles behind,so I can enjoy this damn climb,(with one name,and one game) me n my team work harder than hives,(habeebez) and since we’re right here let’s make our dreams come alive,’cause I’m prepared to attack 40 degrees of incline,and damn right we’re going to do it no turning back no hitting rewind!”

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Acclimatization day 1

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   1 Comment

We woke up after a good night sleep at 7am, to have a breakfast. I think they read my blog last night because they gave us aaaaaa lot of food. Then took the cable car up to 2,700m and started our first day of acclimatization hike up to 3,500m. It took us about 5 hours to reach it, the team paced up really well and made it with great spirit and attitude. We were blessed with amazing weather and beautiful views of mount Elbrus. We took a lot of pictures that i will share after the climb. You can also track us on spotmoe on my website.

On the way down was very quick,  it took us about an hour back to the chairlift.   Back in Cheget, we had the best Shashlik ever which is basically a Russian Kabab. Bought some water, snacks, and some supplies for tomorrow and the days to come.

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Arriving at Cheget

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   3 Comments

We woke up at 7 and dragged our bags down for a nice breakfast, before heading to Cheget in the Baksan vally where we will spend the next 3 days acclimatizing. During the 3hr drive we stopped to buy some snacks and found amazing water Mellon that are grown in the village.

Reaching our destination we, went straight to lunch. Must say the portions are not as big as I expected. But we are having a high carb diet that hopefully will help us climb the mountain.

Then we headed up to the hotel which is about 2100m high. Before checking in we did a full gear check to make sure no one is missing anything. We came out with a whole list of items that we must arrange before heading to the barrels in 3 days. There are small mountaineering shops here that carry the essential gear.

I am sharing with  Masoud, and looks like we have the smallest room in the hotel and it’s purple! Every single thing is purple. As long as there is a pillow and a bed I won’t complain.

I got a saddening call today that one of the employees in the Sharjah Golf & Shooting club Rasheed passed away. He handled the juice bar for years. Unfortunately a car hit him in the morning while he was crossing the road. May God rest his soul.

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On Route to Mineralnye Vodi

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   2 Comments

The plane left Dubai airport at 10:30am for a 5 hour flight to Moscow. Landed there on time around 3:30pm, as usual drama in the airport. We had to pick up our luggage pass it thru customs and recheck them in in the domestic terminal. After spending 1hr at the check in counter, the supervisor came and decided to go over the weight when all the luggage already went to the plane. Guess what we were over wait!!! We had to go to another counter and pay for the excess luggage. Now we are pushing it with time. As we passed security check, the airport customs stopped Abz (Abdulaziz) and asked him why is he carrying an ice axe in his back pack! So he had to leave it with them as we didn’t have time to check it in. We just made made it to our flight to Mineralnye Vodi which is another 2hr flight. We landed there and waited a loooooong time for our luggage which we had to carry 200m to the bus. After a short ride to the hotel, met Raed, Elia, and our guides Vern and and Carol. Checked in our rooms and headed out for a quick dinner. One thing really surprising is there a lot of Mosquitos here, it’s really unbelievable. Being after Ramadan hope we will get our sleeping habits as quick as possible. So we will be abel to generate as many red blood cells as possible. The altitude at Mineralnye Vodi is about 600m.

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Off to the Top of Europe…

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   No comment

First I would like to wish you all Eid Mubarak. In less than 8 hours I will be off to my next adventure this time to the 5th highest mountain of the 7 Summits
Mount Elbrus. Mount Elbrus is located in the western Caucasus mountain range in Russia, near the border of Georgia. Your support is the reason I strive to reach higher and aim further, for that I Thank You.

Elbrus at 5,642m is an extreme, high altitude climb. Climbing up to 8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 8 hours for the ascent and 7 hours for the descent, that is 15hr straight . The expedition requires strength & endurance. Being in sound physical condition is the single most important aspect for me to maximize my chances to summit. I have been training really hard the past few months and hope it will all pay off soon.

I will update my blog as much as possible. I also will be having audio blogs on the days I do not have internet connection. I would like to keep you all as close as I can to the real thing. You can also locate me at any time using my gps on SpotMoe it will be activated tomorrow onwards.

Wish me luck…

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What Does it Take to Climb Elbrus?

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   No comment

Many friends ask me “What Does it Take to Climb Elbrus?” Well, it takes a lot of guts!

Once I decide on climbing a mountain, which is anything between 6months to a year ahead the planning begins. First I check when is the best time to climb that mountain to avoid avalanches and Crevasses. Once I decide on the mountain and time of a climb I used to search for the best outfitters that will arrange me the guide and logistics. This was a lot of trouble especially when you want to climb in Argentina, Nepal, or Russia there are many outfitters but choosing the right one is extremely important. Having the wrong guide might jeopardize the whole trip.

Luckily now Rahhalah (www.rahhalah.com) owned by my 2 very good friends Zeddy Al Refai and Suzanne Al Houby (1st Arab male & female to Summit Everest respectively) take the headache away by adding their 7 Summits program, they partnered with one of the largest companies in the world to provide the best level of service. Thats what I got in Vinson last year with Alpine Acsents.

Then gearing up depending on each mountain, I need different thickness of sleeping bags, down jackets and many different climbing boots depending on the climbing conditions. Logistical issues is usually not easy especially traveling to very remote places, Sometimes I change 3 or 4 planes to reach my destination.

After all this, the training start. 6 days a week of intense cardio, strength, and stress training. I have to be in the best shape of each and every mountain. One can never be over ready to climb, thats why I keep pushing the bar higher and higher. Just recently I started training at the Altitude Chamber at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.This is helping my stamina in a big way. I also hope it will help me acclimatize on Elbrus, I guess I will find out in a week or so.

I tried to keep it as short as possible while mentioning the main parts of preparing for my climbs.  This is just an over view the real this is way more stressful.

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