Today is a great day for Filipino mountaineers as well as for the entire Filipino nation. A Filipino finally reached the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world at 8,848m (29,028 ft.). Leo reached the summit today, May 17, 2006 at 3:30 PM Nepal time (5:30 PM Phil. time). I definitely didn’t had any doubt in my mind that he was gonna make on top. I still remember Leo when he joined the 2nd Visayas National Orienteering Competition which we organized and hosted last 2000. He was just starting out then in the adventure racing circuit. Partnering with Rob Greville they won the race and since then he has been winning adventure races one after the other.
During the 3rd Visayas Mountain Festival held last March in Patag, Silay, Art Valdez, Expedition Leader of the 1st Philippine Mount Everest Expedition informed MFPI members about the status and plans of the Expedition.
The RP Everest Team was set to climb Mt. Everest in 2007 but after Garduce announced his plans to climb Mt. Everest May of this year there has been a change of plans and FPMEE team decided to send out two of their best climbers, Leo Oracion and Pastor Emata to the summit of Everest as a “reconnaissance” climb before next year’s First Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition dubbed as the “Unity climb”.
The goal is still half-way done. I wish Leo a safe journey back to base camp.
Last April 5 I wrote in my other blog the following:
Speaking of climbing Mt. Everest, it would be interesting to see who would really get to climb there first. Would it be Romy Garduce or Leo and Pastor of the RP Everest Team. It’s quite unfortunate that their expedition has become a network war of GMA7 and ABS-CBN. It doesn’t matter who gets there first. Whoever it is, Filipinos should be proud about it. Although, honestly speaking as a member of the MFPI I would like to see Leo and Pastor of the RP Everest team get there first. I’m looking forward to see who’s going to get there first.
Links to the Summit news: