Ramakrishnan, member of 1997 Mount Everest expedition, dies at 55

Malay Mail Social Logo

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Environmental activist and mountaineer Ramakrishnan Ramasamy died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 55.

According to his friend Dilip Martin, Ramakrishnan died in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands last night.

He was a member of the 1997 Mount Everest expedition team and was even considered to be the first national climber to reach the peak of the highest mountain in the world, but it was hampered due to frostbite.

The late Ramakrishnan was the Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands (REACH) president and a member of Malaysia International Search and Rescue (MISAR) as well as Malaysian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (MVFRA).

He was also the first Malaysian to reach the peak of 7,525 metre-high Annapurna IV in Nepal and was included in the first list to reach the Everest summit.

His teammate, Datuk M. Magendran, the first Malaysian to conquer the summit of Mount Everest, said Ramakrishnan was a dedicated and talented man.

“He was a very experienced trekker and mountaineer. During the pre-expedition training in 1996, around 20 climbers had been separated into two groups, I was in the group to India, he was in the group to Nepal.

“He succeeded the attempt to become the first and only Malaysian to conquer Annapurna IV in 1996. Unfortunately, he experienced foot injury and frostbite, so he had to receive treatment in Malaysia.

“He finally managed to join us in Kathmandu after getting clearance from the Malaysian doctor but failed to get a permit from Nepal doctor to climb. I am very positive he would have also made it to the summit if he was allowed, he was such a strong climber and was active in climbing activities,” he told Bernama.

Another national Everest hero, Datuk N. Mohandas also expressed his sadness over the demise of Ramakrishnan, whom he described as a very strong person mentally and physically and not easily discouraged. — Bernama