Flight Instructor Sebastian Soltani from Västerås, Sweden was given a challenge – to climb one of Nepal’s highest mountains. He realized he could do even more with this challenge and came up with the idea to climb for charity. Bid to the summit was created.
His adventure has secured over 37 000 SEK to Cancerfonden and their cancer research. The idea for the adventure started back in October 2018, when a friend told him about Nepal and his own experience. Even though his friend had a tough experience, Sebastian was not able to let the idea go. After reading several books on Nepal, he got even more interested.
His initial goal was to reach Everest Base Camp at 5000 m. He started contacting different companies that helped arrange these types of trips and found a Swedish/Nepali agency that also assist the local community in Nepal by building schools, for instance. He got in touch with one of the expedition leaders, Christina, and set the date for the trip to be October 2019. He now had a year to prepare himself for the expedition.
Sebastian got a personal trainer to help him out with an exercise routine and hiking in other mountains such as Kebnekaise (2099 m) in Sweden. About 2-3 months before his planned departure in October, he got a call from the agency asking if we wanted to climb Mera Peak (6476 m) instead. This gave Sebastian some doubts as 5000 m already was a high goal for him. However, the agency assured him that they would help him reach it and that the trip was tailored for him to succeed.
He watched videos of others that tried to climb Mera Peak, making him realize that he needed an additional and bigger purpose in order to succeed. After talking to a close family member that had been ill from cancer and received treatment from a new research technique, he contacted Cancerfonden who was happy to help setting up an account where companies and individuals could donate money. For every 100 meter he climbed, the company committed to donate. In return, they would get their logo on the banner he would bring up to the summit.
His donation plan for the companies was that they could select between a small, medium and big amount, making it possible for even minor companies to partake. OSM Aviation Academy got onboard and doubled the whole plan, making them the head sponsor for this trip.
Sebastian did not only want to climb Mera Peak for own personal reasons and to raise money for cancer research. Another important aspect was to learn about the culture and to be part of agency’s school project in Thade, a small village in the mountains, where they did not only help build a new school, but also accommodation for students living in other villages.
It took Sebastian’s group 15 days in total to reach the summit at Mera Peak at 6476 metre. Hiking a route that was anything else than following a simple road up the summit. Sebastian calculated his passage to be 7 – 8 times the route up Kebnekaise. On the plus side this helps the body acclimatize to the altitudes. The downside is that the body ends up using the energy faster since it does not have time to recover in the same pace.
As the days passed and he and his group came higher he had the charity climb in mind, knowing that the higher he went, the more money he was able to secure for Bid to summit.
“The charity climb definitely helped me to reach my goal, I don’t think I would be standing on Mera Peak if I didn’t had this charity climb in the back of my head.”
When Sebastian reached the summit, he knew he had secured the full amount of money from the participating companies. Meaning that Cancerfonden would receive a good amount to their cancer research with over 37 000 SEK raised from this climb.
Listened to him speaking about his extraordinary experience on episode 11 of The Pilot Talk Podcast !
Story originally written by Ann Katrine R. Andersen- For the full story, be sure to visit – https://www.osmaviationacademy.com/blog/bid-to-the- summit-in-favor-of-cancer-research