The 2015 Team

Peter Boogaard

Having been active in mountaineering for more than 30 years, I probably have to admit that it has become a slightly deranged hobby…
P1050585For many years, I’m an active member of the Royal Dutch Mountaineering Society, both on the regional level and the national level. On the regional level, I’m heavily involved in the Rijnland Chapter (Regio Rijnland) where I’m the Learning Coach, assisting incumbent climbing instructors to fulfil their training and examination  requirements. At the national level, I’m active for many years as Alpine Instructor, teaching alpinism in Switzerland and Austria in the summer months, mainly in the youth programme. Furthermore, I try to get to the Alps regularly with my friends to climb interesting peaks.

I’m married to Aly, with whom I have two suns and a daughter, and – since last year – also a daughter-in-law. In my daily life I work as toxicologist for Royal Dutch Shell. That job requires me to travel quite a bit and provided me with the opportunity to climb a number of beautiful mountains in both the Andes and the Rockies. So could I climb my first mountain over 5000 m in 1992, when teaching a course for Shell in Chile, and could I climb Longs Peak (4346 m), my first solo-ascent of a mountian over 4000 m in 2008 when invited for a workshop organised by the US EPA in Rocky Mountains National Park.

Photos of many trips can be viewed on my facebook page. The Seven Summits project started in 2007 with a successful ascent of Mount Elbruz (5542 m, the highest peak of Europe) with the team of  Wilco van Rooijen (Elbrus Xpedition 2007). In 2009, I was asked to join the Dutch Denali Expedition  to climb Mount McKinley or Denali, meaning “the high one” in the local language and, with 6194 m the highest peak of North America. After the successful completion of that expedition, I was hooked and determined to climb all Seven Summits…

In 2010, I climbed the Aconcagua (6962 m), the highest peak on the globe outside the Himalaya’s and the summit of South America, together with Jetze Tjalma. A year later, in 2011, I summited Mount Vinson (4982 m), the highest peak on Antarctica. On Antarctica, I met Namgya Sherpa, one of the best climbers I know. During the discussions with Namgya in Vinson Base Camp, I realised that this was the man I needed to climb Mount Everest. Indeed, in 2012, Namgya indeed was the sirdar of the Dutch Everest Expedition 2012 and guided Jetze and myself on Everest from the Nepali side. Due to unexpected extremely bad weather conditions in the night we tried to reach the summit, we had to return at an altitude of ~8600 m. In 2013, I climbed Kilimanjaro, with 5895 m thenamgya kagerplas summit of Africa, with both my sons (then aged 14 and 21 years). Finally, in 2014, I climbed the Carstenszpyramid (4884 m), the summit of Australonesia. Hence, I have climbed all Seven Summits, but failed the last stretch of Everest in 2012. This time, I hope to reach the summit, but this time from the Tibetan side.

Namgya Sherpa

Being born in the Himalayas of Kanchenjunga Region (home to the third highest peak in the world and the second highest of Nepal: Mt Kanchenjunga, 8586 m) we were untouched by modern development. As kids, life outside the Himalayas remained unknown to us, until one day when we encountered a few trekkers. It was then for the first time that we came across this magical instrument called ‘camera’ and I was left spellbound after seeing the pictures of the places completely different to those of the Himalaya region. Those tall, gigantic buildings, those wide and endless roads, those blue oceans which looked like the clear blue sky and those beautiful beaches sprinkled with sands like silver dust. I thought to myself: “Is this for real ?”…  Since then, I realised that beyond these hills lies an ‘unknown world’, a world which I had already started fabricating in my mind and exploring became my only desire…

DSCN0053With time, I grew up from a little boy to a tough man. However, my childhood dream of exploring the ‘unknown world’ still remained in me. So I took my first step towards my dream by shifting to Kathmandu, the so-called ‘dream city’ of every villager in Nepal. Though the city was at first not as kind as I expected it to be, I was not the type to back out. The only job which suited me at that time was that of a trekking sherpa. And little did I know at that time, that the job which I chose out of necessity would one day mean the world to me. For few years, I worked just to earn enough money so that I could follow my dream.

namgya sherpamuseumIn the year 2005, my hard work and devotion towards my work gifted me with the wonderful opportunity to travel overseas and visit the United Kingdom. It was then, I realised, that where you go is only half the experience. The other half is what happens to you there. This chnaged my concept of travelling entirely. Age might have started taking its toll over me, but underneath that rough and wrinkled skin was a newly born soul, full of enthusiasm and ability to experience more in life. I became like a modern Ulysses, always craving for more knowledge and nothing seemed to stop me. Since then I started enjoying my job: I started working not just to earn money but to earn satisfaction, the satisfaction of being able to turn dreams into reality. As founder of Grand Himalya Expeditions I share a dream of ‘connecting dreams and reality’…

One thought on “The 2015 Team”

  1. Mantua I love your story and your dream. Thanks for sharing and I hope you inspire people to live their dreams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.