He left a successful career to scale mountains and he's never been happier

Malaysian Tillai Muthu Nagarajan found his recipe for happiness. At the age of 50, he decided to leave the office and begin to lead a sporting lifestyle. Running, swimming, kayaking, climbing mountains. The Seven Summits program became his ... read more

Malaysian Tillai Muthu Nagarajan found his recipe for happiness. At the age of 50, he decided to leave the office and begin to lead a sporting lifestyle. Running, swimming, kayaking,  climbing mountains. The Seven Summits program became his motivation, became his goal for the coming years. Now Rajan has climbed six of the seven highest peaks from the program. He climbed two of them with the 7 Summit Club groups. This is Denali and Vinson. Ahead is Everest, which the Malaysian will also climb with our team under the leadership of Alexander Abramov. Read article

 

 

 

 

He left a successful career to scale mountains and

he's never been happier

 

When he turned 50 six years ago, Tillai Muthu Nagarajan decided to quit his high-flying corporate job and climb mountains. Rajan, as he is known, was the CEO of a consulting firm in Singapore, drawing a high salary and living a comfortable life. But he wasn’t happy.

 

 

“I wanted my life to be worth living and was just so tired of the routine of my nine-to-five job. I’d been at it for years... hating it, complaining about it, but still doing it day in, day out. I didn’t want my life to be all about work and getting stressed about meeting targets and all that.

  

“So, when I turned 50, I decided I’d had enough and I quit. I was offered a higher salary, a seat on the board and all that if I stayed, but I really wanted no more of that life. I wanted my life to be worth living, ” says the KL-born and bred Rajan, who turned 55 recently.

Since then, Rajan has scaled six of the seven summits (the seven highest mountains in each of the seven continents): Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Denali in North America, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Vinson in Antarctica and and Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania. He is training to climb Mount Everest, the last of the seven, this year.

 

 Rajan (left) with some of the other climbers on Mount Denali in Alaska.

 

“Why do I do it? Wait, let me show you, ” says Rajan as he whips out his mobile phone and shows me photo after photo of his trips up and down the many mountains around the world. The photos, taken with only his mobile phone, show breathtaking scenes of snowcapped mountains, rolling landscapes, rushing rivers and stunning rock formations that are picture perfect.

“Mountaineering has really opened my eyes to how beautiful the world is. I had travelled a lot for work before but I never saw such spectacular sights as I did when I started going on these climbing trips. The views are just perfect and, believe me, my photos do not do them justice, ” he says, eagerly drawing up more photos for me to see.

 

Rajan says that he never tires of scenes on his climbs.

 

 

Discovering his passion

 

Rajan got his first taste of mountaineering more than a decade ago when he and a small group of friends decided they needed some adventure in their lives.

“We were all a little burnt out in our careers and were looking for something fun and challenging to do to revive our lives a little. So we decided to climb Mount Kinabalu. We even came up with a name for our trip: “Project Renaissance”.That was my first ever climb and though we did reach the summit, it took me about three weeks to recover from the climb! It was painful, ” recalls Rajan.

 

Rajan wasn't all that adventurous when he was younger. Now, he's game to try anything.

 

As tough as it was, the members of Project Renaissance found that they enjoyed climbing. The following year, the group of friends trekked up to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal and the year after that, they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

“We tried to push ourselves a little harder each time. I really enjoyed everything about it... the challenge, the training, the adventure. Unfortunately, because I was still working, I often had to take a step back (from mountaineering) because of work commitments.

“So, when I turned 50, I decided that it was time for a change. I have absolutely no regrets. I am happier now that I have ever been, ” he says.

Rajan is also the fittest he has ever been in his life. Mountaineering requires a tremendous amount of physical and mental strength and Rajan starts training up to six months before each trip. When he’s not preparing for a climb, he runs and hits the gym daily.

“Climbing mountains is no joke. When you are a CEO, you have a secretary and a staff to help you. On the mountains, you are on your own and if you are not prepared, you perish. You have to carry every single thing that you will need (equipment, layers of clothing, medicine) up and down with you. This also includes your rubbish and also your bodily waste (you have to poop in a bag with a chemical that freezes the waste so there is no smell). These national parks are kept in pristine condition and they even make sure that you are cleansed before you go in, ” explains Rajan.

 

Mental fortitude is crucial up on the mountains. 

 

 Apart from physical strength and stamina, climbers need to be mentally and emotionally strong to survive the challenging conditions on the peaks. Rajan meditates and practises yoga to help him brace for the tough conditions on his trips.

“There are risk factors when you go these trips. Conditions can be unpredictable and you have to be prepared, mentally, to handle any situation. You also need to focus and deal with the altitude because you can be up there for weeks. I was stuck on Mount Denali for three weeks because there were strong winds that kept us in our tents for days. We had to do everything in our tents. Sometimes we bring a radio with us to keep us entertained but if you don’t have that mental strength, you will crumble.

“And when you have strong winds blowing against you... and I mean winds that are 30 or 40km/hour, you need to be strong. When you are up in the mountains, there is nowhere to go, ” he shares.

What makes it all worth the risk, he says, is the feeling of accomplishment when he reaches the summit.

“There were many instances when I didn’t make it. Either the weather conditions were bad or I was not feeling well or my team wasn’t in the best of health. It’s disappointing and frustrating and I always make sure that I go back and complete that climb. I am very determined because nothing can beat the feeling of reaching the summit. Being on top of the world, so to speak. It’s indescribable, ” he says.

Rajan may seen fearless, but he admits that there is still something, or rather someone, he fears.

 

The breathtaking vistas are another reason Rajan is glad he decided to choose climbing mountains over the corporate ladder.

 

“My mother! I may be 55 and I may climb the highest mountains in the world, but I am scared of my mother. I don’t usually tell her before I go on these trips because she will not be pleased. She worries about my safety. So I get my brother to tell her after I have left. That way she can’t say anything, ” he says with a laugh of his mother who lives in Brickfields, KL.

Mountaineering is also, he admits, not a cheap hobby, especially since his bucket list includes the Seven Summits and other mountains around the world. His trip to Antarctica to climb Mount Vinson cost him about US$45,000 (RM183,000) just for the park fees alone.

“It’s not cheap, that’s for sure but thankfully, I managed to build up quite a tidy nest egg before I quit to tap into. Also, I am single and don’t have any children so I don’t have many commitments. Why else should I work so hard if not to fund my passion?” he says.

Rajan also started his own consulting company based in KL where he focuses on strategic transformation of companies and leadership training.

“I work on a few projects but it’s a lot different from being tied down to a nine-to-five job. Now I work so that I have enough to fund my passion, ” he says.

 

SOURSE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! The group of the 7 Summits Club with guide Sergey Larin climbed to the top of Mount Ojos del Salado and went down to the Atacama camp

Sergey Larin, the 7 Summits Club guide from Chile: Hello, Seven Summits! Yesterday, January 29, our group climbed on the top of Ojos del Salado, all three members and guide. Now we have already descended to the Atacama camp. We collect our ... read more

Sergey Larin, the 7 Summits Club guide from Chile: Hello, Seven Summits! Yesterday, January 29, our group climbed on the top of Ojos del Salado, all three members and  guide. Now we have already descended to the Atacama camp. We collect our belongings and move to Copiapo. From there I will send more detailed information with photos. We are OK.

 

The fourth group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua completed the acclimatization rotation and is resting in the base camp

Group guides Andrei Berezin and Boris Egorov from Argentina: The fourth group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua made an acclimatization rotation with an overnight stay on Nido de Condores (5600). Today we climbed to the ... read more

Group guides Andrei Berezin and Boris Egorov from Argentina: The fourth group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua made an acclimatization rotation with an overnight stay on Nido de Condores (5600). Today we climbed to the Plaza Berlin (5920), from where we descended to the base camp of the Plaza de Mulas. Tomorrow, according to the program, it will be rest. Future plans are weather dependent.

 

 

 

 

 

The Group of the 7 Summits Club completed acclimatization rotation. Climbers will wait for the weather window to climb Ojos del Salado in Atacama camp

Hello, Seven Summits! Information from Ojos del Salado. Now we are in Atacama camp, at an altitude of 5250 meters. The acclimatization process is completed and now we are waiting for the weather. Mount Ojos del Salado is all covered in ... read more

 

Hello, Seven Summits! Information from Ojos del Salado. Now we are in Atacama camp, at an altitude of 5250 meters. The acclimatization process is completed and now we are waiting for the weather. Mount Ojos del Salado is all covered in snow. Every day after lunch it snows. But we hope that we will be able to catch the weather window. Be! Guide 7 Summits Club Sergey Larin.

 

The group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua called "DArtagnan and the Three Musketeers" went on the route

A group of 7 Summits Club with a guide Vladimir Kotlyar called themselves DArtagnan and the Three Musketeers. And today the group began its movement towards Mount Aconcagua! Mules were sent forward with trunks up, and all persons went on ... read more

A group of 7 Summits Club with a guide Vladimir Kotlyar called themselves “D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. And  today the group began its movement towards Mount Aconcagua! Mules were sent forward with trunks up, and all persons went on foot on the route! The mood is excellent, the weather too.

 

 

Today we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica! The 7 Summits Club congratulates everyone on the great anniversary date!

200 years ago, Russian explorers for the first time in human history saw a huge continent in the extreme south of our planet. 200 years of exploration of Antarctica! Under the sign of this date, we provided all our programs of the past ... read more

 

200 years ago, Russian explorers for the first time in human history saw a huge continent in the extreme south of our planet. 200 years of exploration of Antarctica! Under the sign of this date, we provided all our programs of the past season of ascents and trips on the Ice Continent. Three groups of the 7 Summits Club successfully raised the flags of the 200th anniversary and our Club to the highest peak of Antarctica - Mount Vinson. Our group members reached the South Pole on skis and climbed the highest volcano on the continent, Mount Sidley.

 

 

We pride ourselves on being one of leaders in organizing Antarctic travels. Climbers from different countries and continents took part in our trips. We invite everyone to join our travel to another, fabulous world, to a journey that will become one of the most striking episodes of your life! You need to decide in advance, such conditions of the game ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Everests! Alex Abramov will climb Everest from the South! How everything will be organized in the 2020 season

The7 Summits Club continues to collaborate with RD Studio. A new film will be shot on the Southern slopes of the Greatest Mountain. The Everest expedition from the Nepalese side will be led personally by Alex Abramov. Along the ... read more

The7 Summits Club continues to collaborate with RD Studio. A new film will be shot on the Southern slopes of the Greatest Mountain. The Everest expedition from the Nepalese side will be led personally by Alex Abramov. Along the Hillary-Tenzing route, he will try to set a world record, climb 8848 meters without supplement oxygen at the age of 56!

The climb will be carried out in cooperation with a team whose goal will be to climb the neighboring eight-thousander Lhotse. There is time to join any of the expeditions. Although the deadlines are already running out ...

 

 

 

The decision was made at a business breakfast

Summit! Elena Ivanova with a guide of the 7 Summits Club climbed to the top of Mount Chimborazo

Elena Ivanova - at the highest point of Ecuador Chimborazo (6 130 m)! This time everything favored the successful ascent to the most distant peak from the center of the Earth, including the weather was more supportive. Moreover, after ... read more

Elena Ivanova - at the highest point of Ecuador Chimborazo (6 130 m)! This time everything favored the successful ascent to the most distant peak from the center of the Earth, including the weather was more supportive. Moreover, after powerful preparation and acclimatization in harsh conditions, the climb on Chimborazo passed for Elena somehow imperceptibly. Elena did not even notice the technical difficulty of Chimborazo and in all seriousness asked: "What was the difficulty?" Well then! Our applause!! Keep it up!

 

 

 

 

 

The fourth group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua made an acclimatization rotation in the area of ​​Plaza de Mulas

Greetings from the fourth january group on Aconcagua! Today the group spent the first night at the Plaza de Mulas, which is famous for the cold winds. But now the weather is surprisingly warm. Looks like summer has come here. In the ... read more

Greetings from the fourth january group on Aconcagua! Today the group spent the first night at the Plaza de Mulas, which is famous for the cold winds. But now the weather is surprisingly warm. Looks like summer has come here. In the afternoon we took a walk to an abandoned hotel. It seemed to us a little, and we made another small climb. After a walk, we had a wonderful dinner at the Base Camp. Guides of the group Andrey Berezin and Boris Egorov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! A group of the 7 Summits Club with a guide Dmitry Ermakov climbed the volcano Orizaba

Seven Summits, hello! Dmitry Ermakov from Mexico. Today it was a difficult day. It was very, very windy, there was a lot of snow. But in spite of everything, we climbed in complete to the top. True, we were forced to split the group, ... read more

Seven Summits, hello! Dmitry Ermakov from Mexico. Today it was a difficult day. It was very, very windy, there was a lot of snow. But in spite of everything, we climbed in complete to the top. True, we were forced to split the group, because someone walked faster, someone slower. But, nevertheless, each of the members visited the top of Orizaba peak. Everything is fine, we descended, we are already in civilization, relatively. Tomorrow we leave for Mexico City. Bye! We are fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of the 7 Summits Club climbed the La Malinche volcano for acclimatization

Seven Summits, hello! This is a guide of the 7 Summits Club Dmitry Ermakov from Mexico. Our group climbed to the top of La Malinche. There was a lot of snow. Local guides say this has not happened in the past five years. But that wasnt a ... read more

Seven Summits, hello! This is a guide of the 7 Summits Club Dmitry Ermakov from Mexico. Our group climbed to the top of La Malinche. There was a lot of snow. Local guides say this has not happened in the past five years. But that wasn’t a problem for us. We climbed, went down, and now we are moving to the Zaopan refuge at the foot of Mount Orizaba.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club on Aconcagua rises to the Confluencia camp

A new group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club started today its route to the foot of Mount Aconcagua. Yesterday there was a hard day running around the hot Mendoza in search of SIM-cards and getting permits for climbing. This ... read more

A new group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club started today its route to the foot of Mount Aconcagua. Yesterday there was a  hard day running around the hot Mendoza in search of SIM-cards and getting permits for climbing. This morning we moved to Penitentes, and went on a route.

Today and tomorrow we  will spend nights in the Confluencia camp, where there is no telephone connection. Two days later, we must reach the Plaza de Mulas camp and then there will be fresh news about our expedition. Guides of the group Andrey Berezin and Boris Egorov.

 

Photos of fantastic Antarctica and greetings from Punta Arenas from the guide of the 7 Summits Club Artyom Rostovtsev

Greetings from the southern branch of the 7 Summits Club! We have finally left the most unpopulated continent. The climbing season of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica ended successfully. Three successful expeditions to the highest point of ... read more

Greetings from the southern branch of the 7 Summits Club! We have finally left the most unpopulated continent. The climbing season of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica ended successfully. Three successful expeditions to the highest point of the white continent!  All members used their not-so-easy chance to stand on top of Vinson Massif. And someone managed to stand on the highest volcano of the continent – Mount Sidley. The weather was very diverse. But somehow, in all three expeditions, the ascent plan was not frustrated and we had reached the top in the most favorable conditions. The most difficult moment was the evacuation in stormy weather down from the assault camp after one of the successful visits to the summit (the weather tried to leave us there for several days) and the next 8 days of waiting for departure from the base camp Vinson.  

 

The other day it will be the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Antarctic continent by Russian researchers. We dedicated our summit climb to this date.

 

Well, now drying, fixing, packing of equipment and closing our southern branch until next season.

 

Warm greetings from the shore of the Strait of Magellan!

Artyom Rostovtsev.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second group of the 7 Summits Club on Ojos del Salado started today in the direction of the Laguna Rossa

Today, January 21, the second expedition of the 7 Summits Club on Ojos del Salado starts. We go to the Laguna Rossa. There are three members in the group and guide Sergey Larin.       read more

Today, January 21, the second expedition of the 7 Summits Club on Ojos del Salado starts. We go to the Laguna Rossa. There are three members in the group and guide Sergey Larin.

 

 

 

Summit! Elena Ivanova climbed Mount Cotopaxi with a guide of the 7 Summits Club in terrible weather conditions

News from Ecuador from Elena Ivanova: Today we climbed the volcano of Cotopaxi (5,897 m), which is considered one of the most beautiful in Ecuador. But, it was not up to the beauty! Again we were covered by icy rain. The thought slipped ... read more

News from Ecuador from Elena Ivanova:

Today we climbed the volcano of Cotopaxi (5,897 m), which is considered one of the most beautiful in Ecuador. But, it was not up to the beauty! Again we were covered by icy rain. The thought slipped through several times to turn back. But there was enough strength to go to the end, to the top.

Tomorrow begins the ascent on the highest volcano of Ecuador and the most remote object of the earth's surface - Chimborazo (6 310 m). We hope that the weather will be more favorable! It’s good that the plan has a reserve day ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! Alexander Abramov and Ludmila Korobeshko climbed the highest volcano in the world, Mount Ojos del Salado

Greetings from Chile from Alexander Abramov and Ludmila Korobeshko! Yesterday we were at the top of Ojos del Salado. We went in the style of blitz - in 2 days. There was a lot of snow on the climb. We trailed all the way to the summit. Here ... read more

Greetings from Chile from Alexander Abramov and Ludmila Korobeshko! Yesterday we were at the top of Ojos del Salado. We went in the style of blitz - in 2 days. There was a lot of snow on the climb. We trailed all the way to the summit. Here it is - the arid desert of Atacama ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! The third group of the Russian camp of the 7 Summits Club climbed to the top of Mount Aconcagua and went down

Alexandr Dorojukov the 7 Summits Club guide from Argentina: Hello from the group Un poco! Today we went down to the Plaza de Mulas Base Camp. Two days ago, we climbed by the whole team to the top of Mount Aconcagua. All members are in ... read more

Alexandr Dorojukov the 7 Summits Club guide from Argentina:
Hello from the group Un poco! Today we went down to the Plaza de Mulas Base Camp. Two days ago, we climbed by the whole team to the top of Mount Aconcagua. All members are in excellent condition, today we will give them signs of honor!

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! Oleg Mezentsev, a member of the second Antarctic group of the 7 Summits Club, climbed to the top of Mount Sidley and completed the Seven Volcanoes program

Message from Oleg Mezentsev from Sidley Volcano: I was on summit! Everything is fine, we went down to High Camp, today we spend the night here. The Basler plane is waiting for the group below, so the climbers must catch the Union ... read more

Message from Oleg Mezentsev from Sidley Volcano:

I was on summit! Everything is fine, we went down to High Camp, today we spend the night here.

 

The Basler plane is waiting for the group below, so the climbers must catch the Union Glacier before the last scheduled plane leaves for the mainland. It should take place on January 20. On it, Artyom Rostovtsev should fly to Punta Arenas with a third our group of climbers on Vinson.

 

 

 

Photo by Andrew Hughes from James Stone's blog

                                                    

 

Oleg with Nims in Moscow

 

Adventures in Ecuador by Elena Ivanova with a guideof the 7 Summits Club

The adventures in Ecuador of Elena Ivanova or the girl who dreams of Everest (to become the first Israeli citizen on the highest peak of the world) continue. Yesterday, Elena climbed the second planned volcano. This time it was the volcano ... read more

 The adventures in Ecuador of Elena Ivanova or the girl who dreams of Everest (to become the first Israeli citizen on the highest peak of the world) continue. Yesterday, Elena climbed the second planned volcano. This time it was the volcano Corazon (4780 m). Corazon (translated - heart) is located in the western spur of the Andes. From its top, views of other volcanoes open - Cotopaxi, Iliniza, Ruminiau, Pasachoa. The crater of the volcano resembles a heart in shape. The most romantic climb is to take a heart attack! This time the weather was less cloudless, but this did not stop Elena from climbing, accompanied by our guide Edgar Parra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Third Antarctic Team of the 7 Summits Club has returned to Union Glacier and wishes Alex Abramov a happy birthday!

Hi Seven Summits! This is Artyom Rostovtsev. My team and I are located about 17 thousand kilometers from Moscow. The place is called Union Glacier. Yesterday morning, we successfully escaped from the Massif Vinson assault camp ... we walked ... read more

Hi Seven Summits! This is Artyom Rostovtsev. My team and I are located about 17 thousand kilometers from Moscow. The place is called Union Glacier. Yesterday morning, we successfully escaped from the Massif Vinson assault camp ... we walked a very long time and then quickly flew away. It was a very busy day. Everything turned out fine, we returned to the Union Glacier. We can consider our ascent completed and successful!

 

 

Yesterday was a crazy day and  we forgot to congratulate the President of the 7 Summits Club Alexander Abramov on his birthday.

 Alex! Happy Birthday!

 And also our good cook Pato joins, which was with us on Everest:

 Alex! Happy Birthday!