Johann Peries has successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest, becoming only the second Sri Lankan in history to have reached the top of the world’s tallest mountain. Johann Peries successfully summited Mt. Everest at 5.55 am Nepal time on the morning of 22 May. Peries’ earlier attempt in 2016 was unsuccessful when his oxygen tank failed 400 metres before the summit.
Speaking after he made the difficult descent from Mt. Everest, Johann says that he was proud to unfurl the Sri Lankan flag at the world’s highest mountain peak, and dedicated his successful Everest Expedition to all Sri Lankans.
This was Johann’s second attempt at scaling the Everest peak. 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 8,400m, a mere 448m short of reaching the summit, due to technical difficulties with his equipment. Kuru-Utumpala went on to complete the climb, becoming the first Sri Lankan to scale Mt. Everest.
Johann says he was determined to achieve his goal this time around.
“The first time I came to Everest it was a dream,” Johann says. “This time, it was even bigger than a dream, so I knew it must happen. This time I knew what to expect – I was better physical shape, and I was mentally ready to take up this challenge.”
Johann has been supported in his Everest bid by the support and encouragement of thousands of his fellow Sri Lankans. Many of them also joined in the efforts to sponsor the costs of the expedition, which amounted to nearly USD 60,000. 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.
Johann says that fund raising the second time around was even more difficult than it was the first time.
Johann is expected back in Sri Lanka on 6th of June, and - after just one day of rest- has planned to dive right back into his regular, hectic schedule with a bride to dress and style on his first day back at work.
Johann hopes 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,” Johann says. “I want to encourage everyone I meet to keep pushing forward until they too achieve their dreams. Because I know we can!”