The National University of
Singapore is celebrating the centennial anniversary of the university this
year. As part of the festivities they will be sending a team, made up of
students, staff and alumni to the summit of Everest.
Mountaineering took on a high
profile at the university in 2002, after Dr. Robert Goh led a successful
ascent with students up Mount Xixabangma (8000m). The success found in the
first year of the Make It Real program has made it possible for the University
of Singapore to have confidence in their Everest team.
Student participants in the
Make It Real program go through a rigorous year learning expedition planning
and mountaineering skills, with training climbs in Nepal and New Zealand.
In 2002 invitations went out
to join the Everest expedition, the response from students, staff and an
alumnus was overwhelming. They narrowed the applicants down to 30 based on
past mountaineering experience and held an over-night physical and mental
assessment of the candidates. This process narrowed the group to 13 and has
since been cut to 6 team members.
The team leader is Ee Khong Lean. The other members are Lindley Zerbe
(communications), Quah Wei Siong (training), Stefen Chow E-Fung (gear) and Teo
Yen Kai (welfare).
The team will also be
accompanied by veteran climbers Dr. Robert Goh, Lim Kim Boon and Edwin Siew.
These three climbers will be assisting the University expedition as well as
making an attempt to be the first climbers from Singapore to summit without
the aid of bottled oxygen.
Climbers Robert Goh, Lim Kim
Boon and Edwin Siew: Edwin first put Singapore’s flag on the summit of Everest
six years ago along with
Khoo Swee Chiow.
On this mission the groups goals are two fold, they hope to be the first team
from Singapore to summit without the assistants of oxygen and they hope to
work together with the students climbing from the National University of
Singapore to help make their expedition a success.
In training to climb Everest
this March without the aid of oxygen, Goh and Boon climbed Cho Oyu without
supplemental oxygen. The trip was a success. Cho Oyu is just 650m lower then
Everest, the climbers are confident in their abilities. The students from the
University will climb with the aid of oxygen. The members of this expedition
are excited not just by the opportunity to climb Everest for themselves, but
to play an active role in helping to cultivate a new generation of
mountaineers in Singapore.
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