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Mission Impossible III

Adrian Hayes the fastest man to conquer the three peaks of the world
talks exclusively with Debasree S, Editor

Is Adrian Hayes the fastest man in history to have conquered all the three pinnacles of the globe? Considering that this former British Army Gurkha officer reached the top of Mount Everest in May 2006, walked across the ice to the North Pole in April 2007 and then topped it up with a successful trek to the South Pole in December 2007, all within a span of 19 months, he has for sure staked his claim to the hall of fame.

Dubai’s very own adventurer earned a great deal more than just his share of limelight –it is the simple lessons in life that this ace explorer learnt while on his insurmountable treks that made his conquests all the more meaningful. Quite unfazed by the enormity of his feat, Hayes attributes much of his success to the tremendous support that he has received from his sponsors and the strength that he imbibed from Dubai’s “Can Do Attitude.”

As he pushed his own personal limits of endurance to touch the top, bottom and the roof of the world, the 40-something explorer believes that his happiest moment was not when he touched the South Pole and created history of sorts but 21 days earlier when he was fighting against the deadliest of odds -- chilly winds at 100 kms per hour, Achilles’ heel, broken shoe straps and still managing to keep up a healthy pace.”

“Despite all the hardships, the very fact that we were maintaining the momentum, setting up tents, trudging though the hard snow, made me happy. I knew that if we were able to overcome such extremes and then still carry on, we will do a lot better in the coming days.” Having accomplished his mission, the corporate coach and motivational speaker who offers companies and individuals an “opportunity to unlock, their fullest potential, through tried, tested and powerful tools” says that he is himself suffering from a “sensory overload.” So much so that he needs to unwind in a Maldives beach to “come back to civilization.”

“There is a mix of emotions, a sense of achievement and then a sense of bewilderment.” And yes there were moments he was almost on the verge of giving up. For instance, at the peak of the Mount Everest, at the veritable death zone, his oxygen mask gave way and he was almost 14 hours without an oxygen mask, gasping for breath and keeping his fingers crossed. “That was a moment that I thought, we will not be able to make it.”

Talking about his recent expedition to the South Pole that catapulted him into the elite club of 14 other explorers who have achieved the same feat, only that he did it in record time, Adrian said: “I must say that it is an arduous trek but it was fractionally easier than doing the North Pole.” Hayes set off from the Hercules Inlet on the Northern Coast of Antarctica on November 13 with a team of likeminded explorers from Canada, Britain, Norway, Switzerland and Lebanon.

Hayes believes that virtually anything and everything is possible in life if you have the right mental attitude and want it badly enough. Over 1,130 kms walked, 12 kilos lost and 47-days of a very hazarduous trek to the South Pole, Hayes gave enough testimony of his “never-say-die” , attitude. The journey is one of the most physically demanding, placing a tremendous strain on the adventurers who burnt at an average of 8,000 calories a day, equivalent to the energy used while running a double marathon everyday for 60 days.

Hayes set off from the Hercules Inlet on the northern coast of Antartica on November 12, 2007 with his team averaging around 24 kms during difficult 10 hour days. Progress during the end of the expedition, Hayes said, was hampered by extreme weather conditions in the high altitudes. In the end, his boot broke and he had to wait for many hours before he could get a fresh supply.

The South Pole Challenges are largely known for strong winds, an uphill trek from sea-level to 3,000 ms and a number of crevasse fields. “The ferocity and the sheer duration of the frenetic winds blowing in your face and trekking for more than 10 hours daily under these circumstances, is a gruelling task, it eats into you. “There were so many people who were supporting us, so many expectations to live up to and eventually that was our biggest inspiration,” Hayes said.

“We were only able to go as fast as the slowest member of the team, but we all worked hard together to ensure that everyone made it in one piece, albeit very weak and exhausted.” Hayes is the second Briton in history to reach the three pinnacles of extreme adventure in the world and joins the club of 117 people who have walked to the South Pole the entire way in 96 years; one of the 57 people to reach South Pole unassisted and one of the 3 people to reach both poles in one year.

Hayes’ has dedicated his “Three Poles Challenge” to raise awareness and money for the Children’s Hope Foundation and Friends of Cancer Patients.

Soucre :

Posted : 31/01/2008

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