Initiative’s Michael Chong: What Do Mountaineering, Media & Marketing Have In Common?

May 2, 2024 | Share this article

Michael Chong, Initiative’s chief analytics officer, has done something quite remarkable — climbing Ama Dablam, one of the most challenging peaks in the Himalayas on a trek that takes the best part of a month. Here, he tells B&T about his marvellous mountaineering, and what we can learn from it.

Ama Dablam, rising proudly at an elevation of 6,812 meters in the heart of the Himalayas, commands respect as the “mountaineers’ mountain” owing to its formidable technical challenges and rugged terrain. To ascend this Himalayan giant presents extraordinary challenges including navigation of incredible ice sculptures and imposing rock bands that test even the most seasoned mountaineer.

My recent ascent of Ama Dablam was a long-time dream come true and I will carry the lessons learned on the Mountain back to my desk at Initiative.

For me, mountaineering serves as more than just a physical pursuit; it’s a profound journey of self-discovery and personal growth. With each ascent, I find myself drawn deeper into the realm of introspection and resilience. Climbing is not merely about conquering peaks but also about confronting the inner demons that arise in everyday life —whether it be physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, or the emotional toll of separation from loved ones. Despite the inherent challenges and risks, the allure of the mountains lies in their ability to push us beyond our limits, fostering a sense of camaraderie, teamwork, and personal triumph.

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