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Group aims to put first Sabahans atop Mt Everest

Published on: Friday, February 28, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A group of herb growers and mountain guides is aiming to put the first Sabahans atop Mount Everest.

It is no easy challenge to overcome but the No Boundary Adventurers Association (Nobat) aims to send a group of Sabahans to conquer the world's highest peak.

The ambitious aim is to plant the State flag atop Everest, which would be the first in the history of Sabah.

The group has been active since 2002 as an independent 'free and easy adventure group', organising treks and mountain climbs.

The following year, they became affiliated with the North Borneo Herb Growers Association Sabah (NBHGA), in which they were a sub-committee, and started the 'Dandelion Eradication' project to eliminate the presence of the weed on Mount Kinabalu.

The group then left NBGHA to become a full-fledged association, Nobat, in Oct 30, 2012.

Since their formation, they have organised many projects and events that demonstrate their motto 'Climb Towards a Healthier Lifestyle'.

Nobat President Chin Chee Vui said Malaysians have conquered Everest before but none was from Sabah.

"How is it that we have Mount Kinabalu and guides that go up and down it every day, and yet we have no team from Sabah conquering Everest?

"Nobat has realised that Sabah needs a local team to beat this giant, and in so doing, rekindle the people's adventurous spirit, though the only thing we are missing is funding of this grand expedition," he said.

Chin added that there is already a team being trained and looking forward to this adventure.

"We want to put Sabah on the map. We are doing this for State and country so that the younger generation will find inspiration in a story of brave Sabahans who were willing to traverse dangerous conditions in order to say 'We are from Sabah and we are proud!'

"If Malaysia Boleh, then Sabah Boleh," he said.

Nobat Secretary Shaji Sugathan said there is a reason why Sabahans have the potential to conquer Everest.

"Sabahans can do this climb because there are people who live on elevated levels that are much higher than sea level so they are, more or less, acclimatised.

"They have a kick-off point due to their bodies being used to living at a higher altitude. We have people living in Kundasang and those going up and down Mount Kinabalu.

"If there are those in the peninsula who live at sea level that can beat Everest, why not Sabahans?" he said.

Nobat Deputy President Jaistin Tamin said the point of this expedition, named 'Sabah to Everest Expedition', is not just for the glory of the State and country but also a legacy to leave behind for the younger and future generations.

"We want to serve as an inspiration to the younger ones so that they may know and inherit the adventurous spirit that we are known for.

Not only that, we hope to instil a stronger fighting spirit for the younger generation so that they may be able to better represent, one day, the nation and the State," he said.

The association is hoping to get the full support of Sabahans and anyone interested in their association can contact Shaji Sugathan at 019-8512761 or call the Nobat office at 088-380383.