Johann Peries reached the summit of Mt. Everest on the morning of 22 May 2018, becoming the first Sri Lankan man to ascend to the pinnacle of the world’s tallest mountain. Johann successfully ascended the summit of Mt. Everest at 5.55 am Nepal time. The adventurer proudly unfurled the Sri Lankan flag at the summit of Mt. Everest while dedicating his successful Everest Expedition to all Sri Lankans who supported him in this arduous endeavour. The ‘Climb Everest with Johann’ campaign, carried out online, allowed well-wishers to sponsor each of the more than 80,000 steps Johann would take on Mount Everest to reach the peak.
Commenting on the exhilarating achievement after his return to Sri Lanka, Johann said, “I felt such a sense of deep pride for my country while flying the Sri Lankan flag at the summit. It was an indescribable feeling. My first attempt to climb Everest was a dream, but on this second attempt, the dream was even bigger – it had to happen! This time I knew what to expect – I was in better physical shape and mentally ready to take up this challenge.”
He went on to add, “This achievement would not have been possible but for the support I have received from all partners in this adventure. A special mention needs to be made of all those who participated in the ‘Climb with Johann’ initiative, sponsoring every step I took up the mountain. This victory is yours too. I am hopeful that my achievement will inspire others to dream big and go out and achieve their dream!”
This was Johann’s second attempt at scaling Everest. His first attempt was in April 2016 when he and Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala were the first Sri Lankans to attempt to summit the peak, but Johann was forced to turn back at 8,400 metres, a mere 448 metres short of reaching the summit, due to technical difficulties with his equipment, as his oxygen tank failed before he could reach the summit. Kuru-Utumpala went on to complete the climb, becoming the first Sri Lankan to scale Mt. Everest.
Johann was supported in his Everest bid by the encouragement of thousands of fellow Sri Lankans. Many of them also joined in the efforts to sponsor the costs of the expedition, which amounted to nearly USD 70,000. Fundraising the second time around proved even more difficult than the first time.
Elaborating further, Johann said, “I hope to share his story of overcoming daunting challenges and never giving up on dreams with as many Sri Lankans as possible. I want nothing more than to inspire other
Sri Lankans to aim for the highest peaks in whatever field they choose! Nothing is impossible!”
Now that he has fulfilled his dream of conquering Mt. Everest, the adventurer expects to steep himself in his regular, hectic schedule – with a bride to dress and style on his first day back at work!