Mountain in Russia named after Waseda
In August 2017, six students from the Waseda Expedition Club set off on an expedition to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula located to the northwest of Hokkaido, and became the first people in history to reach the summit of an unexplored mountain standing at a height of 1,300 meter tall. The mountain has since been named “Mt. Waseda” by the students, and a formal document signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on March 22 was also issued to recognize the official name. This is not the first time members of the club have become the first to land on unexplored summits and places, and they have plans to continue doing so in the future.
Meet Issei Inoue, captain of Waseda Expedition Club
Issei Inoue is currently a fourth year student at the School of Political Science and Economics in Waseda University. Joking about his own body, Issei says people often get surprised when he tells them that he is the captain of an expedition club as he neither possesses a muscular nor a lean body.
In Japan, many high school students who have an interest in expedition aspire to study at Waseda University because of its renowned student expedition club. However, Issei was not one of them and had never even heard of the club before he entered the University. During his freshmen year at Waseda in 2015, it happened by chance that he was in the same class with Marin Minamiya, the world’s youngest to date that conquered all the Seven Summits and Explorers Grand Slam at age 19 in May 2016. Issei recalled that he was so inspired by Marin and her love for expedition and mountain climbing even before she claimed the world glory, which led him to join the Waseda Expedition Club.
When asked what he thinks is the main role of a captain, Issei says it is to accomplish set missions while ensuring everyone’s safety. In order to achieve this, it is important to be fully prepared before embarking on an expedition. At times, members of the club and sometimes even their parents may have doubts and concerns about a particular expedition, especially to an unexplored destination. In order to convince them and to assure safety, proper thorough research and necessary arrangements, such as getting permission from the local community to enter a place, have to be done beforehand. Additionally, the captain also needs to stay calm and positive all the time to keep the team spirit high during long and tough journeys.
Speaking of the future goal of the Waseda Expedition Club, captain Issei says that they are currently planning on an expedition to an unexplored mountain about 6,000 meter tall in the Himalayas. If you want to know more about the club and their expeditions, you can follow Issei’s twitter account (mainly in Japanese).
The Waseda Expedition Club has no doubts made a name for itself and done the University proud. Waseda University will continue to pray for the safety of the members, and wish them success in all their future expeditions.