Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 15:33 WIB

To raise the Indonesian flag on Aconcagua

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Khansa Syahlaa, young Indonesian mountaineer

Jakarta, IO – Young Indonesian mountaineer Khansa Syahlaa is to climb Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, South America, from Jan 20 to Feb 13, 2024, where she will hoist Indonesia’s red-and-white flag atop the summit. This will be Khansa’s next conquest in the Seven Summits of the World program. 

Previously, Khansa conquered three of the seven summits: Carstensz Pyramid in Papua in 2017, Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2019 and Mount Elbrus in Russia in 2022, which coincided with Indonesia’s 77th anniversary. 

Eighteen-year-old Khansa, who was introverted and scared of the dark, has incredibly flown the Indonesian flag on at least 89 mountain peaks around the world. 

“Thank God that the Youth and Sports Minister and the Ministry fully supported these climbing expeditions. I’m grateful to be welcomed here,” said Khansa, after meeting Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo at the Ministry’s office in Jakarta on Thursday (Jan 11). 

“I will bring the Indonesian flag the Minister gave me to be hoisted at South America’s highest peak. It will be the fourth summit, and there are other summits I need to climb. The final will be Mount Everest in the Himalayas,” said Khansa, a twelfth grader at Labschool School, Jakarta. 

Born in Bogor, West Java, on Mar 16, 2006, Khansa conveyed that she was an introverted child, afraid of the dark and found socializing difficult. 

“By mountain climbing, I was taught by nature: we must be ready and capable. After that, I could make a lot of friends during the expeditions. I learned to be more independent, responsible and determined in making decisions. The process of climbing is priceless,” said Khansa, quoted on the Youth and Sports Ministry’s website. 

Preparations for the Mount Aconcagua expedition commenced four months ago, starting with document processing, administration and physical training. Khansa admitted that Aconcagua would be exceptionally challenging. 

“The physical training takes up four times a week, including running, jogging, cycling, swimming and mountain climbing like Mount Gede, Mount Slamet and Mount Sindoro. We need extra preparation for Mount Aconcagua, and it is quite different because this mountain is very challenging. It takes approximately 12 hours to reach the peak, with a total of 15 days of climbing,” explained Khansa. 

“I have climbed around 87 mountains in Indonesia and two overseas. So, in total, I have conquered 89 mountains,” said the daughter of Aulia Ibnu and Pramudi Ayuwardani. 

“My father was the first person who introduced me to mountaineering. Since high school, he has loved mountain climbing. I got curious as it seemed exciting. When I was five, I was brought to Mount Bromo. When I was seven, I went to Mount Rinjani,” said Khansa. 

Read: Three Olympic Medals – Devotion To Her Country

“Mount Rinjani was like an eye opener that I like mountain climbing. After that, I started to focus on climbing and, finally, eight years later, I still enjoy climbing mountains until now. For me, mountaineering is done to appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty that God created. It also provides a space for self-development and character building,” Khansa stated. 

“My message to young Indonesians who want to climb mountains: mountains are always welcoming. They are assets that we must protect. We must not litter. If we protect nature, it will protect us,” said Khansa. (rp)

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