MT. EVEREST TEAM SETS RP RECORD

MANILA
, September 3, 2005 
(STAR) Many Filipinos may feel down in the dumps, but not the First Philippine Mt. Everest Team that set a new record by reaching the summit of Mt. Muztagh Ata at the border of Pakistan and China last week.

At 7,546 meters (24,758 feet), the mountain is the highest peak ever reached by Filipinos.

The Everest Expedition Team of climbers and adventure racers was led by Regie Pablo in its succesful attempt to climb Mt. Muztagh Ata.

The assault team was composed of Leo Oracion, Karina Dayondon, Levi Nahayangan, Ariel Ambayec, Erwin "Pastour" Emata and expedition physician Ted Esguerra.

Dayondon was also the first Filipina to ever reach that height above sea level.

The team forged ahead through hurricane-force winds at 145-150 kilometers per hour, extreme cold, frostbite, and even the death of two German climbers from another expedition, to raise the Philippine flag atop Mt. Muztagh Ata on Aug. 25.

After conquering Mt. Aylmer in New Zealand and the Kiyonang Peak of India, this latest feat brings the all-Pinoy expedition team one step closer to their goal of climbing the summit of Mt. Everest in 2007.

"Despite the extreme weather conditions, the howling winds, and bitter cold, the team still showed determination in reaching the summit," said leader Art Valdez. "It was worth all the effort as the Philippine flag was waved with all pride at the apex."

Valdez thanked the teamís sponsors, namely Globe International Services, Philippine Airlines, ABS-CBN, The North Face, Philippine Accident Managerís Insurance and National Sports Grill.

"Without them, this historical moment wouldnít have been possible," he said.

The team is scheduled to arrive in Manila on board a PAL flight tomorrow.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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