After Everest And Kilimanjaro, This Kerala Govt Employee Hoists Tricolour In North America's Highest Peak - His Dream ...
This Keralite wants to celebrate 75 years of India's independence by hoisting the national flag on the top of all of the world's highest mountain peaks. He sets out on the trekking ventures on unpaid leaves -- risking financial constraints. It cost him two months of unpaid leave from the office to complete his Denali expedition.
Shaikh Hassan Khan with a companion on the top of Mount Denali. (Photo: Facebook)
Kochi:Shaikh Hassan Khan, a state government employee in Kerala, has a unique dream. He wants to celebrate 75 years of India's independence by hoisting the Tricolour on all of the world's highest mountain peaks. Before you judge his ambition far-fetched, learn this. Shaikh Hassan Khan has already conquered Mount Kilimanjaro -- Africa's highest peak -- and Mount Everest -- the world's highest!
In his latest success story, the man from Pandalam of Kerala's Pathanamthitta district conquered Mount Denali-- the highest peak in North America. It took him 21 days to hoist the national flag on the top of the peak situated in the United States, a news report said.
Situated in the state of Alaska, Mount Denali is 20,310 feet above sea level. Temperature falls well below -51 degrees Celsius, and the US government provides little to less assistance for mountaineers in the region.
"It is situated in a remote location and there is absolutely no assistance from the US government which means that you are all on your own in the expedition. The hidden crevasses pose a major threat," the Keralite told the Times Of India (TOI) over the phone from Denver.
Shaikh Hassan Khan said he couldn't spend more than five minutes on the peak, despite making the climb carrying around 80 kilograms on his back. He reportedly started the journey back soon after hoisting the national flag.
An assistant section officer in the finance department, Hassan Khan took mountaineering seriously in 2017. He completed a basic mountaineering course from Uttarakhand before joining an advanced course in Darjeeling, the TOI report said.
The road ahead seems steeper
Although Khan conquers steep mountains with ease, he is not finding the same grip to balance his work life and passion. The limited leave days of government service are not enough to meet his dreams that involve international travel. He sets out on the trekking ventures on unpaid leaves -- risking financial constraints. It cost him two months of unpaid leave from the office to complete his Denali expedition.
And mountaineering expeditions are beyond a middle-class man's pay scale. "An average of 35,000 dollars was the expense for conquering Everest. I had to take a loan and the help of friends to complete the expedition to Everest," he told TOI.
Japan's Mount Fuji and Russia's Mount Elbrus are next on the list for Khan. However, he is certain that he can afford the trips on his own. The proud man is hopeful of finding sponsorships to keep going. He will avail of long leave from service for five years to complete the climbs as soon as someone agrees to back him financially, he told the daily.