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Everest conqueror returns to plains: Musa received at Kathmandu amid flags, flowers and folks

He cried, laughed and said, "I'm back."
These were the first words Musa Ibrahim said when he met the advance team of Bangladeshis at Dolalghat in Kavre district, 90 kilometres from Kathmandu.
The Daily Star correspondent with the advance team was waiting there for Musa who along with other mountaineers started from Totopani, the Tibet-Nepal border, around yesterday noon.
Musa's bus reached Dolalghat around 4:30pm and stopped for the Bangladeshi team. The team greeted him with flowers, bouquets and the flag of Bangladesh while his Nepali friends coloured his face with vermilion.
Second Secretary of Bangladesh High Commission Nasrin Zahan gave him some rice pudding she made for him.
Seeing the mood of celebrations of Bangladesh High Commission officials, media personnel, Musa said, "I get a glimpse of Bangladesh here. Thank you all."
"I want to eat something but not bread and eggs. All these days I have been eating bread and porridge."
Musa spoke of his experience while having some snacks. But he was interrupted as many people including his wife, friends and colleagues kept on calling him. They knew Musa was supposed to be within mobile phone network by then.
Musa's group reached the base camp of Mount Everest on April 14. They stayed there for two days to get accustomed to the thin air. From there they went to the advanced base camp and came down to the base camp again to get used to low oxygen levels and altitude.
"We planned to start from the advanced base camp on May 20. But we heard Muhit and his group had already started for camp-1 from there on May 19. We started 15 minutes after Muhit," said Musa.
"Weather was really bad when we reached camp-1. It was still around 1,800 metres to Everest peak," he said.
"I saw 12 tents destroyed in the snowstorm. It was not possible to go out. Some groups gave up and decided to go down. But our Sherpa Kailash Tamang said, 'Let's wait for one more day'. The next day the weather was really good. We started for camp-2 and on May 22, we did the final push from there in the evening and reached the peak early in the morning on May 23," Musa said.
Musa's oxygen pipe leaked at 8,300 metres high.
"I felt like dying. I was panting and felt like dying. Luckily the sherpas noticed it and they fixed it quickly and I survived.
"When I reached the peak, dawn just broke… I saw the first light. We took photos there," Musa said.
He said they queued there to take photos with the Buddha idol.
"The peak is a small place. Only 20 people can stand there together. Our sherpa told us to go down," Musa said.
Musa said, "I started feeling bad descending. It was hard for me to go down, as I was thirsty. I saw a dead body there."
Sherpas told him that many people die while descending as they deplete their energy going up.
They hurried to go back to camp-1. "Then I met an Australian who gave me some water and 'power gel tablet' which helped me regain energy," Musa said.
Musa came down to base camp on May 24 and reached Kathmandu around 9:00pm (local time) yesterday.
Musa started from Kathmandu on April 12 and came back after 45 days.
The Bangladesh High Commission will receive Musa with a small party tomorrow.
"Everest is the highest peak of the world. Musa Ibrahim climbed the mountain and it is also a victory of Bangladesh. It indicates people from Bangladesh are capable of taking up any challenge," Neem Chandra Bhowmik, Bangladesh ambassador to Kathmandu, said while receiving Musa at Hotel Thamel.
FIRST BANGLADESHI 8,000ERS
MA Muhit, the first Bangladeshi mountaineer to climb 8,000 metres, said yesterday that he is happy that somebody from the country hoisted the flag atop Everest.
“We all dreamed together that we would fly our flag on Mount Everest. I am happy that he [Musa] did it,” said Muhit at Bangladesh High Commission in Kathmandu yesterday.
In a brief interview, MA Muhit said, he came down from camp-1 on May 21 after waiting there for two days, as the weather was bad.
“My sherpa told me, life is more important than mountaineering. Mountain will be always there. So we decided to come back.”
On May 21, one member from the Muhit's team, Barcony, a Hungarian national died before his eyes due to snowstorm.
Muhit and his team decided to come down but Musa's team decided to wait a bit more.
Muhit said, he did not know that Musa's team was going to wait, as there was no communication between the two sides.
When Muhit was coming down on May 21, the weather started to get better on May 22.
Muhit was descending. Musa's team started climbing to reach the top of the world.

Source: Daily Star
Friday, May 28, 2010

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