Their hearts throbbing in tune to Ishy Bilady, a team of UAE mountaineers on Thursday made it to the top of the world.
It was a busy day at the summit of the 8,848-metre Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. More than 150 climbers, including teams of soldiers from the UAE and India, scaled the peak as better weather conditions prevailed throughout the day.
Nepal's Department of Mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha said it was hard to say exactly the number of people who reached the summit or their nationalities but it was a busy day on the summit.
Many of them were returning safely to lower camps, and the weather was still favourable near the summit.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, congratulated the UAE mountaineering team on their feat.
In a text message to the team, Shaikh Mohammed said he was delighted at this signature milestone. He praised the team's resilience and persistence to defy geographical and environmental challenges and hardships.
He lauded the team's cooperation and solidarity in pursuing the adventure with the spirit of oneness and in preparing and acclimatising themselves physically and psychologically. He also appreciated efforts made by a women's team from the armed forces to reach the summit.
The UAE mountaineers received Shaikh Mohammed's SMS with extreme joy. The climbers expressed their gratitude to Shaikh Mohammed for closely following their trek up to the peak and for encouraging them in achieving this landmark.
This season has been good for climbers on Everest after two years of disasters. The UAE mountaineers were the first team from the UAE to set foot on the world's highest peak after braving extreme weather and risky conditions.
They reached the Nepalese capital Kathmandu several weeks ago and walked nine days to reach the Base Camp on the south side and then started out on the trek through four camps to reach the peak.
The team was among the first mountaineers to reach Nepal after a moratorium was lifted on Everest adventures following an avalanche triggered by a powerful earthquake killed 19 climbers and injured 61 others at the base camp last year.
The team is made up of 18 personnel, including 13 climbers of different ranks, a sports medicine specialist, a high altitude medicine and physiology specialist, and three highly professional trainers.
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