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.

 

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Now with English subtitles: Antarctica. Climbing Vinson Massif with the 7 Summits Club

New video - now with English subtitles! The season 2018 - 2019. Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and  a guide, leads the ascent to the highest peak of Antarctica mountain Massif Vinson.  Installation: Luba ... read more

New video - now with English subtitles!

The season 2018 - 2019. Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and  a guide, leads the ascent to the highest peak of Antarctica mountain Massif Vinson. 

Installation: Luba Pershina.

 

 

 

Music: "Pirates of the Caribbean", H. Zimmer, Honored team of the Republic of Belarus Presidential orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, conductor - Victor Babarikin, The Best Soundtrack

New video: Antarctica. Climbing Vinson Massif with the 7 Summits Club

The season 2018 - 2019. Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and  a guide, leads the ascent to the highest peak of Antarctica mountain Massif Vinson.  Installation: Luba Pershina.   Music: "Pirates of the ... read more

The season 2018 - 2019. Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and  a guide, leads the ascent to the highest peak of Antarctica mountain Massif Vinson. 

Installation: Luba Pershina.

 

Music: "Pirates of the Caribbean", H. Zimmer, Honored team of the Republic of Belarus Presidential orchestra of the Republic of Belarus, conductor - Victor Babarikin, The Best Soundtrack

 

Video report by Vladislav Lachkarev: three achievements during one expedition to Antarctica

Vladislav Lachkarev  rom Irkutsk several years spent preparing for this unique expedition. If you go to Antarctica, then do everything in full!  Vladislav in one visit to the Ice continent managed to ski to the South pole, climb ... read more

Vladislav Lachkarev  rom Irkutsk several years spent preparing for this unique expedition. If you go to Antarctica, then do everything in full!  Vladislav in one visit to the Ice continent managed to ski to the South pole, climb to the highest peak of the continent Mount Vinson and the highest volcano of Antarctica mount Sidley. All thanks to the cooperation with 7 Summits Club.

 

 

 

 Vladislav Lachkarev became the third man in the world, who finished program "Seven summits, seven volcanoes and two poles"! And the youngest one…

 

Alexander Abramov: the Beginning of our trip to Aconcagua

Alexander Abramov, President of 7 Summits Club from Argentina: The team of «7 Summits in 7 months” decided to make a new project: "Each of 7 summits in 7 days". I and Artem Rostovtsev go to Aconcagua for 7 days. Today is the ... read more

Alexander Abramov, President of 7 Summits Club from Argentina:

The team of «7 Summits in 7 months” decided to make a new project: "Each of 7 summits in 7 days".

I and Artem Rostovtsev go to Aconcagua for 7 days. Today is the second day. We came to the Plaza de Mulas, height - 4300 m. Health - so-so. But we finally saw our Russian camp on Aconcagua. Perfectly. Super camp. Cheerfully. The neighbors came: Irina Galai, Dasha and the rest…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from Alexander Abramov. Bicycle expedition to the South pole

On January 12, an unusual event happened at the South pole. A group of 13 men arrived here on bicycles.  It was the team of the 7 Summits Club: 11 members plus guides Alexander Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev. For the first time people on ... read more

On January 12, an unusual event happened at the South pole. A group of 13 men arrived here on bicycles.  It was the team of the 7 Summits Club: 11 members plus guides Alexander Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev. For the first time people on two-wheeled bicycles reached the South pole. And let the distance they traveled is not so great, it's still done!  Small, but a feat! Bright, unusual - will be something to remember!

 

 

Oleg Tinkov says hello to his countrymen from the South pole:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of Alexander Abramov from an expedition to Antarctica. Climbing Mount Vinson

On January 6, a group of the 7 Summits Club successfully climbed to the top of Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica. The President of the 7 Summits Club Alexander Abramov led the assault. For him, this climb has been eighteenth on ... read more

On January 6, a group of the 7 Summits Club successfully climbed to the top of Vinson Massif, the highest peak of Antarctica. The President of the 7 Summits Club Alexander Abramov led the assault. For him, this climb has been eighteenth on  Mount Vinson. The 7 Summits Club has been organizing ascent programs in Antarctica since 2004. The second guide was Artem Rostovtsev, for whom it is the second Antarctic season. The ascent was very difficult.  Due to delays in the arrival of the second part of the group, the acclimatization schedule was not possible. The decisive assault takes 12 hours. But everything ended well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team of the 7 Summits Club returned from the South pole to the Union Glacier base

Hello!  Abramov Alexander and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica. Now our team of cyclists has returned to the Union Glacier. Our journey is coming to an end. Everyone feels good and great... we'll wait for the plane to Punta-Arenas, ... read more

Hello!  Abramov Alexander and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica. Now our team of cyclists has returned to the Union Glacier. Our journey is coming to an end. Everyone feels good and great... we'll wait for the plane to Punta-Arenas, it's scheduled to be tomorrow.

 

There Is The Pole! The team of the 7 Summits Club on bicycles arrived on the South Pole!

Hello!  Abramov Alexander from the South Pole. Today, our team on bikes  reached  the South Pole. We drove more than 15 kilometers a day and as a result became the first people in the world who conquered the South Pole on ... read more

Hello!  Abramov Alexander from the South Pole. Today, our team on bikes  reached  the South Pole. We drove more than 15 kilometers a day and as a result became the first people in the world who conquered the South Pole on two-wheeled bicycles. We have great photos, great views of the pole, with bikes... we'll post them later.

In General, our crazy idea was realized. Everyone is very happy, despite the fact that the weather today is very bad. There was a very high risk of frostbite. The road was in fact  invisible. White snow merged, it was very, very difficult.

Well, that is all. Our mission actually ends here. We hope to fly to Union Glacier tomorrow. On the 14th our Soviet IL-76 will be able to arrive and take us.

The mood of the team is great, cheerful. All the guys make future plans for new adventures…

 

 

The team of the 7 Summits Club passed a ski part of the route to the South Pole

 Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and guide the group, from Antarctica:  Today we flew from Union Glacier to the region of South Pole.  We arrived at the mark of 50 km, where we were met by a ratrak ... read more

 Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club and guide the group, from Antarctica:

 Today we flew from Union Glacier to the region of South Pole.  We arrived at the mark of 50 km, where we were met by a ratrak (snowcat) with sledges, in which there were 13 bikes and  13 skis. Today we went skiing 15 km to the camp, which Artem set in advance (kitchen and all tents).

That is all right. It is cold, -30 degrees and wind. But members of the team say that in the North pole was much worse. Tomorrow we have 35 km by Bicycle to the Pole. Usually we go 40 minutes and then all collect and drink tea. With us there is a snowcat.

So, tomorrow we have to make a world record - to come to the South pole on two-wheeled bicycles. No one has done this before us. We're 13 people.

 

 

The team of the 7 Summits Club returned to the base of Union Glacier. Alex Abramov is waiting for a new band!

The 7 Summits Club, hello!  Abramov Alexander and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica. Today we descended from the High camp of Vinson massif and even, despite the bad weather, we managed to fly to the base camp. We were taken on a Twin ... read more

The 7 Summits Club, hello!  Abramov Alexander and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica. Today we descended from the High camp of Vinson massif and even, despite the bad weather, we managed to fly to the base camp. We were taken on a Twin Outter plane all packed with our stuff. And now we are at the Union Glacier and, as a matter of fact, this is the end of our journey. We are waiting for IL-76 to arrive on January 9…

 Also on January 9 our new team arrives. This is the question  of setting of a world record - an achievement of the South pole on two-wheeled bicycles. This has never been done before

 All the while! We'll call again tomorrow…

 

 

Summit! The team of the 7 Summits Club climbed to the top of Vinson Massif. Congratulations!

Alexander Abramov from Antarctica:   The team with guides Alex Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev climbed to the top of the Vinson Massif. We left the camp around 12 noon. It was very cold,  according the forecast - minus 28 degrees and ... read more

Alexander Abramov from Antarctica:

  The team with guides Alex Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev climbed to the top of the Vinson Massif. We left the camp around 12 noon. It was very cold,  according the forecast - minus 28 degrees and poor visibility. But gradually the weather improved. We have a strong team. In General, in the evening we climbed to the top. It's midnight, we went down to the High camp. But as you know, it's light in Antarctica and it doesn't really matter what time you get home.

At last, you congratulate us!

Tomorrow we'll be shutting down the camps and trying to fly to Union glacier. Now the weather is non-flying. Tomorrow it promised a strong wind and snow. So we managed to summit!

 Vlad Lashkarev became the first climber from the city of Irkutsk, which finished the project "Seven summits". Also, we have two people in the team who opened this path on the "seven summits"by climbing Vinson, for them it was the first mountain. Artem Rostovtsev went for the third time to Vinson, Abramov – the seventeenth time. And with this ascent I started my project "Seven summits in seven months". While everything turns out, the first mountain is made... That is all!  Bye!

 

 

 

 

The team of the 7 Summits Club flew to the base camp Vinson and immediately went on the route

Hello!  Alexander Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica.  Finally, a miracle happened, and we were taken to the base camp of the Vinson Massive. It happened at 9 am. ... Immediately we took on the shoulders of all our goods ... read more

Hello!  Alexander Abramov and Artem Rostovtsev from Antarctica.

 Finally, a miracle happened, and we were taken to the base camp of the Vinson Massive. It happened at 9 am. ... Immediately we took on the shoulders of all our goods and dragged it to the Low camp, which is at an altitude of 2800 meters. It was very difficult. Of course, we do not have enough acclimatization. And that's why tomorrow we'll be spending the night here at 2800. Day after tomorrow we hope to move already in the advance camp (High camp) for the assault.

 Everyone is in a good mood, everyone is healthy. In General, everything is fine, thank God.

 We wish  all a happy New Year !

 

 

 

 

Message from Antarctica. A team of the 7 Summits Club ready to fly to Vinson

Hello! This is Alexander Abramov from Antarctica. Today 1th January, I congratulate all with New Year! Our team is finally all together. Artem Rostovtsev and his team returned from the South Pole. And we were supposed to fly to Vinson last ... read more

Hello! This is Alexander Abramov from Antarctica. Today 1th January, I congratulate all with New Year! Our team is finally all together. Artem Rostovtsev and his team returned from the South Pole.

And we were supposed to fly to Vinson last night, just before the New Year. But since the team of Artem arrived very late, in the end, we decided to stay, to celebrate The New Year at the Union Glacier. We were supposed to fly to Vinson this morning, but it was foggy there. All things are collected, we play volleyball waiting for departure to Vinson.

Okay, bye! We're good. The team send Hello to everyone!

 

 Follow the movement of our groups on the map

https://www.iridium360.ru/guest/journey/96b9bff0#!#actors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group of the 7 Summits Club with a guide Artem Rostovtsev is at the South pole! Congratulations!

Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev, from Antarctica, from the Last degree to the South Pole expedition. At the moment I am exactly at the South pole. Here I go around all the meridians around the obelisk – a ball, which ... read more

Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev, from Antarctica, from the Last degree to the South Pole expedition. At the moment I am exactly at the South pole. Here I go around all the meridians around the obelisk – a ball, which symbolizes the South Pole. We had a hard day yesterday. We covered 24 kilometers to the South Pole. We came tired, spent the night at tent, and the remaining 500 meters quietly went this morning.

We took a lot of photos and now we inform the whole world about our success.

Greetings from Antarctica, from the team "Last degree"! We've probably got another day or half a day and we're going back to Union Glacier. Next, we join our second team, to climb together Mount Vinson…

 

 

Alexander Abramov and the group Antarctica-2 are already in Antarctica! Report on the minutes before departure

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club from the plane flying to the South:  We're going to Antarctica!! Bye, everyone! Happy New year! No Internet more !!   It looks like the weather will be good after December 31th. ... read more

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club from the plane flying to the South:

 We're going to Antarctica!! Bye, everyone! Happy New year! No Internet more !!

 

It looks like the weather will be good after December 31th. So for a couple of days, we'll be at Union glacier. And then we are promised a week of good weather. We have enough time to climb on Vinson.

 

 

 

Alexander Abramov. Project 7 summits in 7 months. Join the legend!

 

On the map you can see that Alexander Abramov is already on the base Union Glacier

 

https://www.iridium360.ru/guest/journey/96b9bff0#!#actors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of the 7 Summits Club with guide Artem Rostovtsev is rapidly going to the South pole

Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev. From Antarctica, from the white snow desert. We are rapidly approaching the pole. Today there was a good running day. We just stopped, set up camp, had dinner. Weather... well, we are not ... read more

Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev. From Antarctica, from the white snow desert. We are rapidly approaching the pole. Today there was a good running day. We just stopped, set up camp, had dinner. Weather... well, we are not upset. The slight breeze, mostly sunny, occasionally cloudy. Now, we're planning on getting up early tomorrow and moving on. In a day or two we hope to be at the South pole.

 

 

Follow the map

https://www.iridium360.ru/guest/journey/96b9bff0#!#actors

 

The second Antarctic group of the 7 Summits Club gathered together in Punta Arenas

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club, a group guide: Well, all of our team Antarctica number 2 has come together.  This is Sasha, Alla and Rajan. And I'm Alex Abramov. Today Alla Mishina had a birthday. And she invited ... read more

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club, a group guide:

Well, all of our team Antarctica number 2 has come together.  This is Sasha, Alla and Rajan. And I'm Alex Abramov. Today Alla Mishina had a birthday. And she invited the team to the restaurant. Everyone's mood is cheerful and sometimes fighting. Tomorrow will be the day of preparation. Checking equipment, buying food. And the team wants to see  penguins. Weather is improving. It became warmer. We hope the flight will be on schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

The first report of the season of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica. The adventure has finally begun!

 Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev. I'm finally calling from Antarctica. We successfully took off today and successfully landed.  ... it was clear that there was bad weather, a lot of snow. It was necessary to clear ... read more

 Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev. I'm finally calling from Antarctica. We successfully took off today and successfully landed.  ... it was clear that there was bad weather, a lot of snow. It was necessary to clear anew  the  airstrip - more than half a meter of snow fell out on the driest continent, unexpectedly. We arrived, accommodated, now all go to sleep. In the morning we wake up and try to move on. We have to fly towards the South pole.

I hope that we will succeed. Hello everyone from the snow-white edges of Antarctica!

 

 

An on-line map

 

Listen to the audio message:

The first Antarctic group of the 7 Summits Club flew to the ice continent after a week delay

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas, Chile: Hurray! The program 7 summits in 7 months started!! Finally, our first group after seven days of waiting for the weather flew to Antarctica.  To ski  the ... read more

Alexander Abramov, President of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas, Chile:

Hurray! The program 7 summits in 7 months started!! Finally, our first group after seven days of waiting for the weather flew to Antarctica.  To ski  the South pole and climb the Vinson Massif.

 

 

 

 

We had a great Christmas. Today the whole town was resting. All shops are closed. Tomorrow we are buying products for the second group, which has already started to come to Punta Arenas. The next flight is scheduled for December 29. Onward and upward!

 

 

 Even I had to kiss the big toe of the Indian's right foot to do it. It is a tradition!