HomeMain SliderIndian American Grandfather Summits Everest

Indian American Grandfather Summits Everest

Indian American Grandfather Summits Everest

Indian American Grandfather Summits Everest

Photo: (Left) Jafar Ismail in his moment of triumph., (Right) The Indian American summiteer welcomed home in NJ

By S. K. Gupta

LEONIA, NJ – After years of training and climbing various mountains, Jafar Ismail signed up to climb the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, which stands at 29,032 feet.

A resident of Leonia in Bergen County, Jafar and his wife, Lubna, both grew up in India. They have five children and a precious young grandchild, Zakaria. Jafar graduated from Marine Engineering College, Kolkata (also known as DMET) and holds a graduate degree in Computer Science from Iona University, NY.

Photo: Jafar Ismail with fellow climbers.

In January 2023, after climbing Mt. Aconcagua (22,837 feet) in Argentina—the highest peak in the Americas—Jafar contemplated climbing Mt. Everest before time ran out. “I am 59 years old,” he told India-West, “and I wanted to fulfill this childhood dream before time ran out!”

To prepare for this challenge, Jafar focused on cardio training. He acclimatizes well to high altitudes and wanted to be in the best cardio health for Nepal so as a part of this quest, he completed the NYC Marathon in November 2023 and ran several other half marathons.

As part of his Everest training, Jafar did a practice climb on Lobuche (20,075 feet). Then, with the team, he went through “rotations,” where climbers ascend to higher camps, such as Camp 3, and return to base camp. This helps climbers acclimatize to higher elevations. After some rest and recuperation, Jafar said they waited at Everest Base Camp for the weather to clear.

Jafar said he spent the time recording and sending Bollywood love songs to Lubna, who laughingly told India-West that he can’t carry a tune!

Detailing the sequence of events, Jafar said that once the weather cleared, they moved to Camp 1, spent a night, then moved to Camp 2 where they spent two nights, and then to Camp 3. The next day, they finally arrived at Camp 4 around 4 pm for the final leg of their climb. The summit push started at 7:30 pm. From base camp, they climbed about 11,000 feet over 14 miles, reaching the summit at 7:24 am Nepal time on May 19, 2024.

The way down had some unnerving moments. Jafar’s oxygen mask started leaking, causing his vision to blur, he said. The descent, which usually takes about five hours to Camp 4, took him nine hours. Upon reaching Camp 2, the lead Sherpa decided it was too dangerous for Jafar to climb down in his condition, and a helicopter evacuation was ordered.

Fortunately, after a few days of rest at a hospital and hotel in Kathmandu, Jafar headed home to his wife and family in New Jersey. Jafar left his corporate job in 2022 as an Information Technology Manager to join Lubna’s business. They now run several restaurants and franchise businesses.

“It was very stressful to watch his attempt from halfway around the world,” said Lubna, “but I am glad he is home and now I am locking up all his mountaineering gear forever!”

“The mountains are more beautiful, majestic, and inspiring than any picture or a thousand pictures can capture,” said Jafar. “Certainly one of the most awesome creations of God. And Mt. Everest—it beats them all.”

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  • Nice job SK. You have highlighted Jafer’s amazing achievement. Are you going to follow up regarding Satya Gupta?

    May 29, 2024
  • What an incredible accomplishment Jafar. Proving once again age is just a number. Your determination and spirit are truly inspiring. Here’s to many more adventures!

    May 29, 2024

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