Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Musa Ibrahim Conquers Everest as the First Bangladeshi

Yes, we can do it! One of our Bangladeshi fellow proved that despite we are from a flat land near the sea, we have the courage and determination to win anything. Musa Ibrahim, the founding mountaineer of North Alpine Club Bangladesh and Sub Editor of The Daily Star has conquered The highest peak on earth - Mount Everest. He reached the 8,848-metre-high summit at 23rd May 2010 with a group that consisted 14 Nepalese, six Britons, the Montenegrins and a US national and a Serb. Some 1,200 mountaineers have conquered the Everest in the last 50 years, but there was no Bangladeshi among them. A few URLs here if you want to read further about his Everest expedition.

Earlier, on June 14, 2009 Musa Ibrahim and Tawhid Hossain conquered Mt Annapurna IV, a Himalayan peak at the height of 24,682ft, as first Bangladeshis without supplementary oxygen after tremendous hardship.

We attendedthe Agami Fundraising dinner and cultural program at 22nd May in TiE center, Santa Clara. I helped in delivering some of the food from Tandoor House. Anila Choudhury and the local band of Zubair Bhai entertained us with various songs.

And guess what, Anand defeated Topalov to remain World Chess Champion! He won the last game with black to win the match at 6.5 - 5.5 margin. He is an amazing guy! Congratulations Anand!!

In last few days, I finished Nalini Babu BSC by Humayun Ahmed. He always had interesting writing style. Now he took ideas from parallel universe & I liked it. I am reading a book by Ramit Sethi I will teach you to be rich with much interest now to help my personal finance management. It took me 5 years in USA to pay off all my credit card bills and come to zero. Now I have to set some savings goals and make sure I don't go under the debt line again.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Started Preparation For Hiking Mount Whitney

Today I am writing to convince myself that I should find more time for practice before I finally attempt to hike Mount Whitney in first week of June. Reaching the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest peak of lower 48 states in USA is a dream come true to many. However, I have not been able to find enough time to prepare for this hike which I will attempt with a few other friends in less than a month later. What a  pity!

If you know about my last year's half dome hike of Yosemite, you are aware that from that time I have been planning for this as next major target for my new hiking passion. Despite all the attractions to it, I got too busy in my job and then I am trying to take care of my wife who is expecting. I initially thought that I will have to skip this trip this year but fortunately found that Shusmita is okay with the trip to accompany me during the travel although she won't hike.

I have asked my other hiker friends to make it a family travel to Death Valley as well because anyway we will have to stay tin Lone Pine city of California (~70 miles) 4 nights to accustom ourselves with the high altitude. My other friends who also signed up in the same team for hiking the summit of Mount Whitney are Shahriar, Tanjeem and Sayeem. Amongst them Sayeem is also going to be father soon and hence I won't be surprised if he has to leave this trip at the very end.

Shahriar is the team lead in this hike and was one of 3 of us who summited Half Dome of Yosemite last year. The other friend Nitol is skipping this hiking as he got recently married. Shahriar is the most enthusiastic amongst us for hiking and took the initiative to apply for the lottery to get the permission for Mount Whitney hike. We won the lottery and got our first preferred date of 5th June 2010.

Tanjeem and Sayeem both have been hiking with us as part of our somewhat irregular Bay Area Bangladeshi Hikers Group. They are physically fit and are good team mates for hiking. While Tanjeem says that this hike looks to be too difficult, he is actually very solid in desire and reasonably fast and consistent in pace.

No matter how much I love this challenge to this high peak, I am aware of my primary responsibility towards Shusmita and Ahyan at this critical time. But I will do whatever I can to make it to the top. I started practicing since middle of April once every Sunday. Just before my second practice hike I bought all the necessary gears from REI of Fremont with Shahriar. Well, guess what, Hiking is expensive. We have also booked 2 rooms in comfort inn of lone pine city near Mount Whitney. I hope Tanjeem and Sayeem will also book hotels soon.

Keeping these in mind, I believe we will end up 3 or 4 people attempting the final hike of Mount Whitney summit. I have done only 3 hikes in last 3 weekends and will do one tomorrow

Last weekend was the first time we 3 hiked together as a team I, Shahriar and Tanjeem in Mission Peak. As per opur plan, Shahriar called me at 4:05 AM and I went out of house at 4:45. Tanjeem joined us in Stanford trail of MIssion Peak and we started the hike exactly at 5:20 AM. I took 23 pounds weight while Shahriar also took a good amount of weight. Tanjeem had a decent size bag and we asked him to increase weight for practice.By the time we were at the rest room fork of Stanford and Ohlone trail it was 6:40 AM.While 1 hour 20 minutes is significantly slower my second practice hike's 53 minutes, it's due to 2 reasons. One, we are in a team now - so matching each other's pace and two, we took enough breakfast breaks while earlier I went alone with almost no break. From the fork to peak I went in in 19 minutes reaching at 6:59 AM while Tanjeem 20 minutes and Shahriar 22 minutes. I believe this is the first time I could cross the peak in less than 20 minutes, that too with a good weight in my back.

We started downhill at 7:18 am but took a long break in the rest room. While going down we took the Ohlone trail. The plan was Shahriar and Tanjeem will do 2 consecutive pick summits to test their endurance while I will go back after 1. I believe this hike was a confidence booster for all of us and a good start of a team work. Although every year 30,000 people go to Mount Whitney trail, only 10,000 people make it to the top. Despite a statistical probability of 1 out of every 3 person ascending the summit of Mount Whitney, we decided we will go as a team - and either we all 3 will make it or none of us will make it. Also the weather at early June will take a big role in our success. I never had lack of confidence once I really started hiking and I feel that Shahriar and Tanjeem are equally confident after their consecutive summits of Mission Peak at a single attempt. However, it's not easy and it's really a hard test of endurance. Just to give you a few idea, the single day hike we will be doing will involve starting at 8330 feet and ending up at 14505 feet in a 15/16 hours of hike that we will start at 2 AM and plan to finish by evening. The high altitude and ascending more than 6100 feet at one shot makes lot of people uncomfortable enough if not sick to return back before reaching the peak.

I have read the above book twice already and will come up with a minute by minute plan like I did for Half Dome and update this entry. So check back my blog within a few days soon.

In between I have gone through a series of extra spendings recently including 15,000 car servicing for my Accord, purchasing new glass and a second HDTV for bedroom. At this moment couple of guys from Sears came to clean our Sofa and carpets, so utilizing the time to prepare this blog entry.

Yesterday IT Department arranged the Iron Man 2 movie show for all of us in AMC Theater of San Francisco. The movie is full of fight and animation as I expected and ok to watch once.

Thoughts on Life, Death, and Overcoming Fear

I've been pondering a topic that's universally relevant yet rarely discussed - death and the anxieties it evokes. As I delve deeper ...