Saturday 20 October 2018

' I rang the King of Jordan from the top of Everest'

Daredevil dad Mostafa Salameh (40), originally from Jordan and living in Dublin, has scaled six out of seven of the highest peaks on the planet, including Mount Everest. And though knighted for his efforts, Mostafa says he only wants to make his baby son Ayman proud.

"Until 2004, I'd never even been in a sleeping bag and had no clue what the 'Seven Summits' (the highest mountains of the seven continents) were.

"Then, after going to an outdoor store, I just decided that I was going to climb Mount Everest. Arabs sometimes get a bad image, so I wanted to do something positive for my country and myself.

"I turned up to my first climb, Mera Peak in Nepal, with three duffel bags full of stuff which I had labelled so I knew what it was for -- the guides weren't very impressed!

"After I climbed the highest peak in the US, Mount McKinley, people started taking me seriously and King Abdullah II of Jordan sponsored me. Before that, people just thought I was a madman!

"My first two attempts to climb Mount Everest failed after I had to come down with an ulcer and chest infection.

"By that stage, my sponsorship had dried up so I had to sell my flat and car to fund the expedition. Finally in 2008, after 72 gruelling days, I reached the summit on May 25 -- Jordan's Independence Day.

"I just sat there for hours and rang my partner Krissy, mum and dad and the King of Jordan on my satellite phone.

"And when my son Aymen (1) is old enough, hopefully it will make him very proud too."

See www.mostafasalameh.com

Irish Independent

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