A Kuwaiti mountaineer has become the youngest person to climb the world’s seven volcanic peaks.
Yousef Al Refaie set a Guinness World Record for reaching the top of the highest volcanoes on each of the seven continents at 24 years and 119 days.
“[If] you come from the desert, I wouldn’t believe you [would] to be able to climb the highest mountains,” he said of his feat.
Mr Al Refaie, the 24th person to climb the peaks, started his journey as a tourist on December 30, 2015 when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
He then climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia on July 18, 2017, Mount Giluwe in Papua New Guinea on July 21, 2018, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico on January 6, 2019, Mount Damavand in Iran on August 11, 2019, Ojos Del Salado in the Andes on January 15. 2020 and Mount Sidley in Antarctica on December 22, 2021.
He said the toughest was the dormant 4,285m Mount Sidley in Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land, one of the largest uninhabited areas in the world. It took the team seven hours to push from their camp at 3,000m to the crest of the caldera.
It cost Mr. Al Refaie and his friends around $60,000 to reach the top.
“We could see sunlight, but the temperature was around minus 35C,” he said.
Each member of the team carried his own food although he ate at least three times a day, he constantly lost weight.
“We carried 27 meals each for this trip. The food alone was around 10kg in total. These were mostly high calorie dehydrated meals.
He said he had previously tried to break the record for the fastest ascent of the highest peaks in the Arabian Peninsula, but, like other challengers, he was not allowed to enter Yemen.
Mr Al Refaie now wants to cross the biggest deserts in the world, starting with the Empty Quarter in November.
“When I first asked my mom for the Guinness World Records Book when I was a kid, she told me she would only buy it if I had something amazing to do,” did he declare.
“I really don’t know if she meant it that time, but here we are living the dream.”
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Updated: March 31, 2022, 11:54 a.m.