By Mohammed Mirza
Qimmam is setting a new trend of rock climbing and mountaineering in the country. All seven founding members come from diverse backgrounds but have one thing in common: passion for adventure sports.
How did Qimmam come about?
We started out as a community of adventure sports enthusiasts living in the Kingdom. We came with varied skill sets and wanted to present outdoor sports in a professional way so we decided to set up Qimmam.
Can you tell us what your club does?
Our main objective is to raise awareness about outdoor and adventure sports in the Kingdom. We try to introduce such sports to people with careful planning. We also assist people or groups who want to partake in a certain type of adventure sport. Right now we are assisting a group to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; we are training them and providing them with the necessary gear to climb.
What are your achievements within the Kingdom?
We climbed the highest peak of Ibrahim mountain and we also climbed Mount Shada. Currently, we are identifying other high peaks in the country to climb.
Can anyone join your club?
To join us there is a certain set of criteria to meet. We expect our members be specialized in at least one outdoor or adventure sport. However, joining is different from assisting people or groups on a climb, which we do on a regular basis.
Which places in KSA do you think have the potential of becoming a regular in the mountaineering and rock climbing circles?
Mostly in the southern part of the country. There are a lot of mountains, some which are suitable for mountaineering and trekking whilst others for rock climbing.
Tell us about the mindset of locals when it comes to mountaineering and rock climbing?
I think it’s changing and there are a lot of people who are actually interested in it. There are many people who have participated in the sport elsewhere, but are not aware of the opportunities for mountaineering and rock climbing in the Kingdom as well.
You recently conducted a program for children. Can you tell us a bit about that?
We conducted an event for children, in which we trained them the basics of rock climbing and hiking and even got their parents involved with hosting activities we held that day. We have plans to repeat the event again.
What are some of the other projects you are planning to engage in?
We want to engage in more socially responsible causes. We would like sponsors to support a climb and spread awareness of various causes through their sponsorship.
Your future climbs?
Outside the Kingdom, we are planning to climb Mount Blanc and Mount Elbris.Within the Kingdom we have discovered a new area in the south of the country near Al Baha that has spots for both climbing and trekking.