Bruneian couple fulfills Himalayan trek

National 3 minutes, 5 seconds


A BRUNEIAN couple recently returned after successfully attempted Annapurna Base Camp at the western side of the Himalayas.

The two Bruneians, 25-year-old Yumni Hamizah Hj Hamdani and 26-year-old Nazri Ramli, completed the trek in eight days to reach the camp which is elevated at 4,130 metres from sea level.

Sharing their journey with The Brunei Times, the married couple said that they spontaneously planned the trip as they wanted to have a short getaway in the midst of their busy work schedule.

Yumni Hamizah said that proper planning was the key to the success of their hike. She said that their tour guide assisted them in planning their trekking routes.

“Our Nepalese tour guide, Raj Kumar, and porter, Uncle Dive, briefed us on the itinerary for the next few days as we might get altitude sickness along the way, so the first two days was spent for relaxing and acclimating, in both Kathmandu (4600 feet) and Pokhara (5710 feet),” said Yumni Hamizah.

“We officially started our trek from Nayapul and managed to reach Tikedhunga (5175 feet) on the first day. The journey was fairly easy. But coming the second day, the hike started to get challenging.

“From Tikedunga, we had to ascend close to 4,000 steep meandering steps of the Ulleri, then ascend higher to Banthanti and again, higher to Nangge Thanti before finally reaching our destination at Ghorepani (9022ft),” she said.

On their third day, the group started trekking after Subuh prayers and ascended steep hills to the summit of Poon Hill, which is elevated at 10,475 feet.

“The view at that point was breathtaking, as we can see the panorama landscape of western Himalaya region. This includes Dhaulagiri, the world’s sixth highest peak, having an elevation of 22,970 feet.

“After Poon Hill, we continued our trek and finished at Tadapani (8,629 feet),” added Yumni Hamizah.

The group continued their journey to Sinuwa (7734 feet) and Deurali (10,499 feet) in order to get to Annapurna Base Camp.

Prior to reaching the base, Yumni Hamizah said, the team first summit Machhapuchre Base Camp (MBC) at 11am.

“It was already beginning to step into thin air at 12,139 feet. It was a challenging icy climb in an avalanche prone area.

“It was like playing Russian roulette, not knowing what can happen next.”

She said that the final leg was to climb up from MBC to Annapurna Base Camp. “This came into reality, when we finally reached there at 15:30.”

“We made it, against all odds! Alhamdulillah, there is no power and strength except by Allah SWT.

“Raj and Uncle was amazed as they never thought we could make it here, in shorter time span even,” she added.

Yumni Hamizah said the group completed the trek in six days, instead of the programme’s usual ten days.

They stayed the night at ABC before making their way back to Nayapul.

“ABC was spectacular and I highly recommend it to everyone to give it a go,” she said.

“We left our flag there so the next Bruneians who reach ABC can sign on it as well as a memoir,” she added.

Yumni Hamizah and her husband hoped their journey would inspire other young Bruneians.

“In order to get to the top, we have learnt to overcome many obstacles, to thrive and believe in ourselves. I am asthmatic, so I am proud of my achievement.

“Drive yourself to achieve what you want, put your heart and mind into it, and leave the rest to Allah SWT.

“When you reach the finish line, you automatically forget about the pain and exhaustion. It was worth the climb,” she concluded.

Yumni Hamizah works as a Project Engineer at BLNG while her husband, Nazri, works as a Marine Contract Advisor at BSP.

The Brunei Times