Mt. Cook National Park, New Zealand
Last night I had the chance to see some of the members of the First ever Philippine Team Everest at an MFPI (Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Inc.) meeting at Pioneer Grille in Pasig. It was also the venue for the pre-climb for the Mt. Lobo in Batangas, which I was invited to by a friend of mine. Speaking there at that time was one of the Team Everest member, Regie Pablo, who’s also the current president of the MFPI. I was able to see some footages and photos of their recent training climb in Mt. Cook National Park in New Zealand.
I had to admire these guys somehow for this somewhat ambitious attempt to be on top of the world, literally. Seeing those photos, I can certainly say that with a lot more proper training in cold and higher altitude mountains, these guys could probably pull it off. I do not question the FIlipino’s capabilities in this attempt, I mean look at them, they even set a record on one of the fastest descent from Mt. Cook National park. What I do question in my mind right now is their capability to afford this climb. Pardon my ignorance on this please or maybe some people can enlighten me.
Climbing Everest does not only require Physical fitness, but also the thickness of your wallet. A climb for a person could go as much as $65,000 (Php 3,575,000). Now that the team is down to a group of 17, based on my calculations would go as much as $342,000 (Php18,810,000). Now that amount is no joke, especially with the state of our country right now. This amount is only for the Everest Climb, not counting their other Pre-climbs, trainings and gear acquisitions until 2007, their target date of climb. Many of the members of Team Everest have to leave their jobs to attend to their rigorous trainings, on how they would afford their living expenses I do not know. I know they have somewhat been able to acquire some sponsors like North Face and Coleman, but I doubt it if they would shoulder the whole cost.
They now have 2 years to not only train but also raise the amount they needed. If they do find some way to afford this climb, I’ll root for them all the way.
For more information on the 1st Philippines Team Everest climb go to the MFPI website.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.