Mountain climbing enthusiast James C.M. Lee is set to climb the 8848-metre Mount Everest and in the process, create a record as the oldest man in Southeast Asia and the first Malaysian Chinese to conquer the incredible peak of Everest.
His feat will gain him a spot in the Malaysia Book of Records. Just a few days ago, Lee sent news that he was already at the Everest Base Camp and has just begun training to start his ascent to Camp 1.
68-year-old Lee’s expedition to Mount Everest, code named Lions Mount Everest Expedition 2016, is organised by Lions Clubs International District 308 B1, in conjunction with Lions Clubs International’s 100th anniversary, with the objective to raise environmental awareness among the public as well as to manifest the spirit of ‘Malaysia Boleh’.
Lee has more than 20 years of mountain climbing experience and over the years, has successfully conquered more than twenty mountains, from Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia) to Mount Ranjani (Indonesia), Mount Fuji (Japan) and Mount Ama Dablam (Nepal).
Among the achievements under his belt are scaling Mount Kinabalu 16 times, including completing the World’s highest Via Ferrata and scaling to Mount Kinabalu Low’s peak in a record time of 2.5 hours for veterans.
Speaking to the press prior to his departure to Kathmandu, Nepal on 31st March, Lee said, “It has always been a dream of mine to reach the peak of Mount Everest. I have been undergoing a series of training daily, including jogging at least 20 kilometres with weight bearing of 18 kilogrammes. I have also changed my diet.
“The biggest challenge for me will be the ‘death zone’ which is known as high altitude atmosphere above 7000 metres. The lack of oxygen makes it difficult for climbers to recover physically. As such, I only have two to four days to reach the peak and to descend. Therefore, I am going through a series of special training to acclimatise to the high altitude.”
The expedition to the summit will take an estimated 70 days at a cost of US$85,000. The organising committee was able to solicit sponsorship from various sources, including from the Prime Minister’s Department.
One of the sponsors is Andaman Group, the only property developer to sponsor the programme. Its Managing Director Dato’ Sri Dr. Vincent Tiew explained, “Even though he is of relatively old age, Lee still spared no effort to protect the environment and has been practising to raise awareness on the issue of climate change.
“Our company’s philosophy is to always think outside the box. The Andaman team has always being pushing the limit and applauds this effort to create such a meaningful campaign.
“Andaman has always adopted different strategies and hopes this challenging expedition will be smooth and successful. The spirit of ‘Malaysia Boleh’ must be upheld.”
For updates on Lions Mount Everest Expedition 2016, visit Lions Mount Everest Expedition Facebook Page.
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