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Emirati conquers Antarctica's highest peak

Dubai: Climbing the highest peak of Antarctica — the coldest, driest and windiest of all the continents — for eight hours a day is no small thing. But for Shaikh Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, who recently set the record for being the first Emirati to reach the continent's highest peak, Vinson Massif, it was doable all in the name of a good cause.

"Mount Vinson is a real challenge. It requires serious commitment, extensive experience with winter mountaineering and excellent physical fitness — especially when called upon to climb eight hours a day," Shaikh Mohammad said.

"This is a goal that I had set for myself over three years ago and now I can successfully cross it off my list," he added.

Shaikh Mohammad is supporting children for education in collaboration with Reach Out to Asia, (Rota), a Qatari non-governmental organisation focused on making quality education accessible across Asia.

"As I continue to challenge myself to see how much I can attain, I hope others will find inspiration in my actions, pushing themselves to the limits and finding that they, too, can come out victorious if they work hard enough."


Shaikh Mohammad was forced to summit from the more difficult Western side in order to avoid the South's extreme winds. Due to the extreme weather conditions — with temperatures reaching minus 89 degrees Celsius — two teams had to turn around. But he made it to the top of the 4,892-metre peak.

He plans to climb the highest peak on each continent. Shaikh Mohammad has faced Mount Everest Base Camp in 2009, Mt Kilimanjaro in 2010, Mt Acuncagua and Mt Blanc in 2011. He plans to tackle Mt Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, in June.

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