The Jakarta Post
Disabled climber Sabar Gorky (center) pulls a tire during an event in Surakarta, Central Java, on Aug. 2 as part of his mission to climb Mount Elbrus in Russia. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
A disabled climber from Surakarta, Sabar Gorky, plans to hoist the Indonesian flag on the peak of Mount Elbrus in Russia on Independence Day on Aug. 17.
Sabar will depart for Russia with a team on Sunday.
"I'm part of the Garuda Muda team. We will start climbing on Aug. 15," Sabar told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
At 5,542 meters above sea level, Mt. Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe. Sabar, who has only one leg, previously conquered the peak 2011.
"I will depart from Surakarta on Aug. 12. I will visit Jakarta on the way to meet up with the other team members. Up to nine climbers will be going to Russia," he added.
Among the team members are four young hikers from state high school SMA 86 Jakarta and 60-year-old Dr. Agung from Madiun, East Java.
Sabar has conquered 15 of the tallest mountains in the world, including Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in Argentina, Cartens Pyramid in Papua and Elbrus in Russia. After Elbrus, he plans to climb the Vinson Massif in the Antarctic.
"I've proven that with one leg I can ascend the tallest peaks in the world. What I'm trying to do is to lift the spirits of Indonesian athletes to never give up," said Sabar.
Prior to the adventure, Sabar, who works for the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in Surakarta has been preparing physically and mentally for the past two months, including by practicing climbing techniques on the sand dunes of Parangtritis Beach in Yogyakarta.
"My main practice is cycling, then wall climbing and rowing; all to add arm and leg muscle mass," he said.
Sabar uses modified crutches to help him walk and climb.
Surakarta PMI head Susanto said the institution fully supported Sabar's effort to reach the peak of Mt. Elbrus.
"His health and physical condition are above average; he is very much ready to do the climb," said Susanto. (kes)