KANGAR: The project co-ordinator for the youngest group of Malaysians to conquer Mount Kinabalu is keen to have their feat endorsed in the Malaysia Book of Records.
Dr Suraya Sudin said she wanted the 19 pupils’ achievement in scaling the country's highest peak on Tuesday to be officially endorsed as they had toiled for 12 months in preparation for the climb.
“It was no easy feat as the children's training included scaling three mountains in Kedah and Perlis, lifting heavy knapsacks and dealing with altitude sickness,” she said when contacted at Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
Describing the 16-hour return hike as tough but challenging, Dr Suraya said she and the other six adult climbers had to “babysit” the children, who were “energetic and bursting with energy”.
“Almost all of them threw up when they rushed down in their haste to reach the base camp on the return journey. I even lost a toenail in a bid to keep up with the children,” she added.
The children, aged between eight and 12, created history when they reached the summit, which is 4,101m above sea level, at 6.45am on Tuesday.
They were also assisted by Amri Che Mat, who was part of the country's 1997 Mount Everest team.
The children – mostly from SK Sena here and the rest from SK Kuala Perlis, SK Seri Perlis and SM Sains Tuanku Syed Putra – were selected based on their achievements in the academic field and extra-curricular activities.
Dr Suraya said they had set three records – planting of the biggest Perlis flag measuring 30m by 15m at the summit, having the most number of climbers from Perlis and the youngest expedition to scale the mountain.
A Malaysia Book of Records spokesman said they were also keen to contact the group over their achievement.
“We are studying the matter further as we are unsure over the age factor of the youngest expedition to have successfully reached the summit,” he said.
He said among the national records achieved at Mount Kinabalu so far were the fastest person to reach the summit, the first to circumnavigate on a mountain bike, the highest corporate meeting to take place, the largest flag raised and the biggest number of intellectually-challenged people to climb Mount Kinabalu.
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