11/12/2014 12:00 AM
The Commercial International Bank (CIB) and Omar Samra announced their new partnership in a press conference today, whereby CIB will sponsor Samra in his new ‘Adventurers Grand Slam’, a challenge that has only been achieved by less than 40 people in history.
Samra has already completed the 7 Summits Challenge last year; and aims to achieve the ‘Adventurers Grand Slam’, which is the feat of climbing the 7 Summits and skiing to the North and South Poles. Samra will head to his first destination Antarctica by mid December 2014 in an attempt to ski to the South Pole.
“CIB, being one of the leading banks in Egypt, has fundamental commitments towards the society and youth development. This is the core for country’s development on all levels and we should all invest in our talented Egyptian youth and acknowledge that they are the driving force of our economy and prosperity”, said Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, CIB Chairman and Managing Director.
On the other hand, Samra also commented on this partnership and said: ” I am grateful to CIB for making this long-life dream possible. My first attempt will be to ski the last degree (from the 89th degree to the pole at the 90th degree). If I succeed, I will be attempting the last degree to the North Pole in April 2015. Once completed, I would have completed the Adventurers Grand Slam”.
Omar starts his trip by flying to Punta Arenas town, which is in the far South of Latin America and Chile. From there, he will board on a special Russian aircraft called the Illyusion which is modified to land on a blue ice runway.
Upon his arrival to Antarctic, Omar will camp at Union Glacier. This is a semi-permanent camp set up every year for explorers, adventurers and scientists. He will then fly with his crew to the 89th degree, where he will fit his equipments to the sled attached to a body harness by rope and begins skiing south.
Omar will be skiing an average of eight to ten hours daily dragging sleds weighing up to 80kgs in extreme conditions for about two weeks, depending on weather conditions, as Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest and highest continent on earth with temperatures reaching -70C.
“I have never skied in my life”, added Omar. “My first skiing trip was last weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland. Despite the short training time, I managed to pick up sufficient skills to guide me through the upcoming expedition. However, skiing in Antarctica is different as it will be cross-country skiing where one walks on flat and uphill terrain using skins at the bottom of the skis for traction. It is more about stamina and strength and less about technique like downhill”, Omar concluded.
Omar hopes to succeed in completing the Adventurers Grand Slam to become the first and youngest Egyptian; as well as one of the very few people in history to have realized this challenge.
Omar Samra’s Achievements
• 17 May 2007: Omar was the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb Mount Everest.
• 31 May 2013: Omar became the first Egyptian to complete the ‘7 Summits Challenge’, by climbing the highest mountain on every continent: Everest (Asia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Europe) and Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia), Aconcagua (South America), Vinson Massif (Antarctica) and Denali (Alaska).
• 6 December 2013: Omar participated in Axe Apollo Space Competition; and was the only Arab to win a flight with international space agency amongst a total of 23 winners from around the world, following competitive space-simulation challenges in Orlando in the USA.