Monday, September 2, 2013


ONLY A FEW SOUTHEAST ASIANS climb Mount Everest and fewer still who climb it twice. That honor belong to a Malaysian mountaineer. He is no other than Ravichandran Tharumalingam. His first ascent was done in 2006 at the North Face from the Buddhist Kingdom of Free Tibet and the second was in 2007 from the Kingdom of Nepal via the South Face.

Aside that, he is busy training for the completion of climbing all the fourteen highest peaks in the world that stood at 8,000 meters and above; as well as aiming to finish the Seven Summits very soon by climbing all the highest peak of each of the seven continents. Despite a handicap of missing fingers lost to frostbite, he is set to climb Everest for the third time in 2014 without the aid of oxygen.

During his preparation for the big climbs, he came to the Philippines for some serious training by climbing with members of the Mountain Climbers Alliance of the Philippines (MCAP) at Mount Pulag via the Akiki Trail in Benguet and at Mount Batulao in Batangas. He travelled down the Visayas and climbed with the Negros Mountaineering Club (NMC) at Mount Canlaon in Negros Occidental.

When not climbing, he is generous enough to speak about Acute Mountain Sickness based on his experiences at alpine altitudes which he did before MCAP in Metro Manila and the NMC in Bacolod City. As his schedule will take him down to Cebu, he is also set to talk about AMS which the MCAP Secretariat had arranged except for the venue.

Since this blogger is a member of MCAP, I staged this event under the endorsement and sponsorship of Snakehawk Wilderness School which kept the tab for the rental of the function room of St. Mark Hotel, located at Queens Road, Redemptorist Plaza, Cebu City. The date was set for August 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM where thirty-eight people came.

Ravichandran’s patron, Habagat Outdoor Equipment, came in full force to support their veteran climber by giving away free items after the seminar. Backpacks under the Habagat brand, especially their Venado II and Sigbin models, were essential gears used by Ravichandran’s solo expeditions in the Himalayas.

Silangan Outdoor Equipment big boss, JR Serviano, also came to study the possibility of testing his renowned Rev 20, Amiel 5 and Eis 8 tents in alpine conditions during Ravichandran’s next big climbs. Silangan is a valued partner and sponsor of Snakehawk which, after this event, is set to stage the first ever Outlaw Bushcraft Gathering in Asia on August 30, 31 and September 1, 2013 at Sibonga, Cebu.

A million thanks then to the other owner of Snakehawk, William Rhys-Davies, who did the legwork of staging this successful presentation by an Everest climber here in St. Mark Hotel which come so rarely in Cebu and to Randy Su of Habagat, for his all-out support of this event.

Worth mentioning are MCAP Cebu members Maria Iza Mahinay, Darean Heyrosa, Chad, Bacolod and Johnas Obina; and Dominic Sepe of Camp Red Bushcraft and Survival Guild – all for working behind the scenes. Special thanks is given also to Ramon Corro of First Gen Energy Solutions for his useful laptop; to Ronald Ramiso for providing technical expertise; and the coffee boys of St. Mark Hotel for the bottomless refills.

Below are the collage of photos from the seminar on Acute Mountain Sickness:

Document done in LibreOffice 3.3 Writer

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