8-SUMMITS CHALLENGE IS ABOUT CLIMBING THE HIGHEST PEAKS IN EVERY CONTINENT IN THE WORLD.
When did you take up mountain climbing?
When I started METU, like every other young person, I was searching for something different. Somehow my path crossed with the Climbing Club there.
Can you tell about the 8-Summits Project?
It is a project involving climbing up the eight highest peaks in every continent in the world. It is usually known as 7-Summits. At first, the highest point in Australia was added to the list. But as the area now consists of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, and is accepted as Oceania as a whole, Carstenz Summit in West Papua has been added to the project. I'm keeping both summits on my list.
Which one is more important for you - reaching the summit, or the climbing experience itself?
Both. The journey is exciting but the summit is important as well. Mountaineering as a whole, with its summits and the paths leading to them, teaches something new about myself. People you meet, lives and geographies, all become a mirror. When you look into it you see something of yourself.
How about fear; is it a part of this adventure?
Yes and it is healthy as it makes you think twice. When I am scared I try to understand the reason and think about what I can do to diminish it, if possible. Climbing teaches me to approach and solve problems systematically. When climbing you should focus on the next step, not the summit. It’s the same for daily life.
Do the experiences you gain from climbing make your daily life easier?
Absolutely. You are responsible for every decision that you take on the mountain. Anything can happen and there may not be anyone to help you - usually there isn’t, especially at high altitudes. It is the same for my life in America, too. You should try to avoid making mistakes as much as possible. You need to take your own steps, just as if you were on a mountain.
Where is your next destination?
I'm planing to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica, in January.