RI climbers to conquer seventh summit in 7th month

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - After conquering six of the world`s highest mountain peaks, Indonesian mountain climbers grouped in the Seven Summits Expedition Mahitala Unpar, Bandung, left for Alaska, the United States on Saturday, to scale Mount Denali.

The climbers team consisting of Sofyan Arief Fasa, Janathan Ginting, Xaverius Frans and Broery Andrew left for Alaska from Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Tangerang, Banten province, at 02.00 pm western Indonesia standard time (wib) by China Airlines.

The climbers grouped in the Seven Summits Expedition Mahitala Unpar (Bandung-based Parahiyangan University) or in short called ISSEMU on May 20, 2011 reached Mount Everest`s peak (8.848 masl) in the Himalayas, coinciding with the 103rd National Awakening Day.

Before reaching the Himalayas, they successfully reached

Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 masl) on February 26, 2009 in Indonesia (Australasia), the Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters masl) via Machame on August 10, 2010 in Kenya (Africa), the Elbrus Peak (5,642 masl) in Russia (Europe) on August 24, 2010, Vinson Massive (4,897 masl) in Antarctica on December 13, 2010 and Aconcagua (6,962 masl) in Argentina (South America) on 9 to 29 January 2011.

According to the climbers spokesperson Widyastuti in Jakarta on Saturday (June 18, 2011) the team will conduct acclimatize before scaling the mountain in the North America.

The team actually had just arrived in Indonesia on Thursday (June 2) after completing their expedition to climb to Mount Everest`s peak.

When they arrived home, they were enthusiastically welcomed by their parents, climbers, relatives, students and lecturers of the university.

Widyastuti said further that the success of the ISSEMU team was also thanks to the prayers and support of the Indonesian people.

The struggle of the ISSEMU team was started early in April 2011, and the main climbing effort was made on May 12, and the peak of Everest was reached on May 20, 2011 after going through many obstacles posed by bad weather conditions.

The Indonesian Red-and-White flag was raised for the first time on six of the highest peaks of the world.

"One peak yet to be reached is Mt Denali`s in Alaska which we hope to accomplish next July," Widyastuti said.

In the meantime, Unpar rector Cicilia Laow wished that the four climbers become the first Indonesian team to hoist the country`s Red-and-White flag on the world`s seven highest mountain peaks.

The university has since the beginning fully supported the activities undertaken by Mahitala, in addition to the full support from alumni of one of the leading universities in Bandung.

The university also expected all students involved in the team`s seventh expedition to fully concentrate on the climb.

Cicilia Laow expressed hope that after the completion of the climb, all the four climbers should return to their campus. "No more dispensation," she said.

With high spirit and support from all parties such as from the campus, alumni as well as from the sponsor PT Mud King Asia Pacific Raya, the rector hoped the support can accelerate in the realization to be "The Seven Summiters".

Mahitala Unpar is a group of nature loving students set up on April 8, 1974. To date, it has a membership of around 700 people.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng when seeing off the team said that he was proud of the achievements of the Indonesian youths.

The four Indonesian climbers who are now striving to set foot on the last mountain summit hopefully can reach the seventh mountain peak on the seventh of the month of this year or in line with their expedition planning from June 18 through July 26, 2011.

If the climb is successful then the four climbers deserve the title of "The Seven Summiters".(*)