May 31, 2016 (LBO) – Mountaineering duo Jayanthi and Johann have returned to Sri Lanka following their successful expedition to the top of the world, with a heart-stopping story to relate.
At just before 5:00am, local time, on 21st of May, 2016, Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala summited Mt Everest at 29,029 feet.
“It was a dream come true to finally be able to stand on top of the world and wave the Sri Lankan flag. To dream an impossible dream is comforting, but to live the dream is an achievement,” Jayanthi told reporters in Colombo.
“Faith and trust in God made it a reality. This sums up my whole experience.”
Johann Peiris, who attempted to summit that day, made it to an elevation of 27,559 feet, but then had a crucial decision to make.
“Contrary to some news reports, it was not my health that prevented me from summiting. It was a reason beyond my control,” he said.
“I got caught to a traffic jam, as you might say, and was stuck behind the Indians on a 90 degree rope hanging for 45 minutes, and was told by my guide that I had enough oxygen to go up but not come back down.”
This was one of the toughest decisions he had to make.
“But after meditating up there for a few minutes I decided that to have come this far was also an achievement for me. There were mixed feelings. I was bit angry and frustrated, but at the same time happy to have made it so far.”
“I now know that it was the right choice to turn back.”
The duo has worked towards this goal for many years. Being a team helped them overcome their fears and conquer the mountain.
“At times it was so lonely and depressing; having each other to talk to was a blessing.”
They have climbed many mountains together, both in Sri Lanka and abroad, and trained intensively in the lead up to their departure to give themselves every chance of success.
Leaving for Nepal in late March, they spent close to two months climbing and acclimatizing to the altitude. International Mountain Guides was the chosen partner for the expedition.
Speaking to reporters Jayanthi and Johann thanked their families, friends, and fellow Sri Lankans for the overwhelming amount of support and positive wishes that have been sent their way over the course of the expedition.
The whole expedition was made possible through summit sponsor – Fairway Holdings; airline partner – Sri Lankan Airlines; base camp sponsors – Seylan Bank, Sri Lanka Mobiltel Telecom, and Janashakthi Insurance; and gear sponsors – SEALs, Petzl and Victorinox.