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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sirdar & Messner - Thank you

This post is specially for the organizers of our mountain climbing team.

We do not have a name for our team. It all started with 2 gung-ho mountain crazy climbers who had the sudden interest of wanting to climb Mt Kinabalu. You know, I firmly believed that life begins after 40 for men. They develop a sudden interest on something only after the age of 40, or they change (in thoughts and interest mainly) after this age. Dunno why.

So, yeah, let's see.. they started talking about scaling Mt Kinabalu in Jan 2007. The interesting fact was, they not only TALK about it, but they made it come true. They planned the climb for September 2007, but knowing Messner who like everything well-planned, Sirdar suggested a recce before they lead a team in Spetember07. They had the recce in July 07 and pulled 4 others along this trip. Out of 6 of them, 5 made it to the peak and the one who didn't make it had a second chance in September 07.

They even scheduled training hikes to Gunung Datuk - 825mtrs (2 times), Gunung Angsi -870mtrs (2 times) and Gunung Nuang - 1493mtrs (1 time) and every climber was made to sign a 2-page commitment letter. Every now and then, they would call up or email each climber to check on their fitness level and to encourage them to train more. They even made T-Shirts specially for this climb. There were at least 2 briefing sessions and a get together dinner the day before flying off to Kota Kinabalu.

So September came and they had 20 climbers (including themselves) all eager to conquer Mt Kinabalu. Some were from JB, KL and Lumut while the majority were from Seremban. They went via the Timpohon Trail. Out of 20, 14 summited. And yes, this was successfully organized.

After this the interest died a little because many of climbers were involved in the Christmas musical. But the organizers had another Mt Kinabalu climb scheduled in March 2008. They took advantage of Air Asia's zero fare and booked 1 year ahead.

So in December 2007 , right before the Christmas musical, they began collecting names for the 2008 Mt Kinabalu climb. They had decided to have 2 climbs; 1 in March, the other in July. Messner was to lead the March team and Sirdar, the July team.

March 2008 team - out of 10, 9 summited. They went via the Mesilau Route.
July 2008 team -out of 20, 15 summited. They went via the Mesilau Route.

By July 2008, they had organized 4 Mt Kinabalu climbs, Gunung Datuk -8 times (at least), Gunung Angsi -8 times and Gunung Nuang - 2 times.

One would have thought that their love for mountain climbing was gone, having satisfied their itch 4 times over at Mt Kinabalu, but nooooo... they are now looking at newer heights - Mt Kilimanjaro 2009 or 2010... and their training ground??? No more Gunung Datuk or Gunung Angsi. Too easy for them. They were looking at Gunung Ledang (1276 mtrs) and Gunung Tahan (2187 mtrs).

They did Gunung Ledang last week. They had 38 climbers and only 2 didn't summit. They are planning Gunung Tahan and another Ledang early next year. Rumours has it that they are also planning Gunung Datuk and Gunung Angsi in 1 day and an early morning Gunung Datuk to watch the sunrise. (Mountain madness).

1 year 9 months ago....all these started with just a casual talk. I can just imagine, Messner and Sirdar's conversation..

Messner - "Ever thought of climbing Mt K ah?"
Sirdar - "Yeah, but no kaki (friends of the same interest) lah. Say, you are also keen on climbing meh?"
Messner - "Well, I always wanted to climb Mt Kinabalu, but like you say.. no kaki lah. Eh, why don't we plan a trip there?"
Sirdar - "Hmmm... can also".
Messner - "Let me do some research on it first."
Sirdar - " Okay. We can ask around, see who is interested in joining us".

hehe...just imagining okay?!

Anyway, to Sirdar and Messner, thank you for organizing all these climbs. I had some wonderful moments on these mountains. I may not join you in your quest to Tahan or Kili, and I wish you well in your future climbs with or without me.

I know it's difficult to plan and organize. You guys worry for the group and don't complain much (except for constantly saying that the Tan sisters are not training enough.. haha). And what more , you did it without profiting from any of the trips. In fact, I suspect a lot of time was spent on planning, not to mention the cost of phone calls to arrange for accommodation, transport, etc.

Well done to both of you... and keep up the spirit. :)


Unknown said...

thank you for your kind words; you also did a great job as co-organizer of the July 2008 Mt K climb...that is why we are thinking of recruiting you to plan Tahan & Kili...

i could not have asked for a better partner in Messner..

yes, we had lots great memories of the various climbs :))

we are trying to squeeze in Nuang Chapter 2 before the year ends..

Chee Koon said...

I would like to thank the 2 organizers as well. Without their meticulous arrangement, the ledang would not be successful and adventurous. :-)

Anonymous said...

thank you for your kind words too. it has been a pleasure organising this with Sirdar. somehow we really enjoy all the planning and then the execution of it. by the way, Sirdar likes everything well planned too...that's why we have many meeting sessions before a major climb... he will even plan right down to the last drop of coffee at the summit ..ha!ha!As you may know he has started planning the menu for the big party on the summit of Tahan..fried leeches included.. ha!ha! yummy..

A correction. The recce for Kinabalu was Sirdar's idea. When he told me I was surprised..a recce? right to the top??

You have been a great team member and player and have greatly contributed to and complemented our efforts. The 1st KK and the recently completed Ledang climb have certainly proven that you are one determined and spirited climber,who accomplishes what you set out to do.

The achievement lies not with the strongest or the fastest, but with them that push and go beyond their perceived personal limits...Welldone

euniceta said...

Wah! The great Messner visited my blog. I'm so honoured.

Fried leeches... better than them draining the life out of me.. haha

Corrected on Sirdar suggesting the recce to Mt K.

Gee... thanks for the compliments. For me, It was really the determination of reaching the summit. I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I did it.. with help of others of course. And I was surprised to find that I wasn't the last.. haha