5-year-old becomes youngest Singaporean to conquer Everest base camp through ‘hard work and faith’

The father and son duo, who have been documenting their journey on an Instagram account under the handle “abyan.irkiz”, recalled the six gruelling months of training that led to this moment.

“All the sweat, tears, and dedication over the last six months, including training during Ramadan, have led to this incredible achievement,” they wrote in an Instagram post.
Zikri Ali and his son Abyan at the Mount Everest base camp on April 29. Photo: Instagram/abyan.irkiz

It was accompanied by a picture of the pair holding up a Singapore flag before a signboard welcoming visitors to Everest base camp.

“From countless climbs up and down 27 storeys to trekking through rain and thunderstorms for training sessions – every challenge has been worth it.

“This day, exactly two months before Abyan turns six years old, marks such a great achievement, and I’m sure we will never forget this day.”

In a Facebook post published on Monday, the Singapore Book of Records confirmed that Abyan is the youngest Singaporean to reach Everest base camp.

This Singapore record was previously held by Om Madan Garg, a six-year-old boy who reached the Everest base camp on October 7, 2022.

Speaking to TODAY on April 19, on the eve of their trip, Zikri said that the idea for the climb occurred to him as he was reading about Om’s climb.

Incidentally, he and his family were in Nepal, where they just finished a 12km panoramic hike.

Zikri Ali and his son Abyan on a video call. Photo: Instagram/abyan.irkiz

“[Abyan] managed to do quite well. And I was quite impressed actually,” said Zikri, who owns and runs a yoga studio with his wife.

“I was thinking to myself: Hmm, I think maybe he can do it [Everest base camp hike]. With some training, he can definitely do it.”

The father of three said that Abyan had, in a sense, learned to climb before he could even walk.

While the little one learned to walk properly without support at about age 13 or 14 months, he was already crawling up playground slopes at nine months old.

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“At almost one-year-old, we’ve got him to this kid climbing gym, and then it just came naturally to him, he was able to climb up. And the operator was impressed,” Zikri said.

It helps that the family likes to go on hikes together, an activity they do both locally and whenever they go on holidays.

Proper training for the father and son duo began sometime in November with 4km walks. Zikri gradually added length and incline to their training.

“Then, in December, we also went to China. At that time, he managed to get some experience hiking in the cold, in single-digit temperatures,” he added.

In an Instagram post published on Tuesday, Abyan’s mother, War War Lwin Tun, 41, said it was surreal to see how much her eldest son has grown – physically and mentally – over the last few months.

This achievement is not a miracle. It is an honest testimony of hard work and faith

War War Lwin Tun, Abyan’s mother

“Back in December, he boldly declared his goal to be the youngest Singaporean to reach Everest Base Camp.

“Now, he’s not only shown the world but also himself that nothing is impossible when you have the courage to try!

“Quoting what a good friend told me yesterday – this achievement is not a miracle. It is an honest testimony of hard work and faith.”

TODAY has reached out to Abyan and Zikri for comment.

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