Archive for the ‘by joanne’ Category

Trek to Everest Base Camp

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

18-Day Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek
A journey into some of the most breathtaking sceneries in the world.

Home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, Nepal is blessed with spectacular mountains vistas. The Everest Base Camp trek is justifiably famous, not only for its proximity to Everest, the world’s highest mountain (8850m a.s.l.) but also for its friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, great variety of cultures, as well as colorful festivals and monasteries. The flora and fauna are other visual treats you can expect from the Sagarmatha National Park.

Everest, symbolically, embodies values of passionate pursuit, resilience, tenacity, and a sense of enterprising adventure. Our Everest attempt encapsulates our firm belief that passion and conviction can bring dreams to pass, passion to reality. In spirit, this expedition extends beyond mountaineering. Through our journey, SWET provides a platform for its members to attempt the seemingly-impossible, and we hope to inspire others to do likewise.

Join us at EBC
SWET’s Everest expedition will be a milestone for Singapore. You can be part of this historic event. Embark on this Everest Base Camp trek – your journey will bring you to experience one night at Everest base camp, something exclusive to members of this trek.

Traveling dates
EBC Trek Team A: Sat, 4 April to Tue, 21 April 2009
EBC Trek Team B: Sat, 18 April to Tue, 5 May 2009

Pre-requisite/s : Participants must be of an above average level of fitness, physically and mentally fit, with the ability to trek with a 8kg to 10kg backpack load. Experience in multiple day treks/camp outs, is an advantage. Participants shall have to participate in the team training/s organized by our appointed trek leader

Closing date: 15 February 2009
Contact Email:


Aspiring Mountaineers Programme

Saturday, August 9th, 2008


The Singapore Women’s Everest Team has started the ball rolling! We are telling the youth of today to come forth to make their own dreams.


We launched the Aspiring Mountaineers Programme (AMP) over 2 days with resounding success. The AMP is a community initiative by the team, using our climbing experience as motivational story to inspire today’s youth to climb their own “Everest” – be it an academic goal, a sports record or a career path.

The AMP is partnered with SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre, and supported by the National Library Board.

On the first day (2 Aug), we shared our stirring Everest journey at the National Library with close to 100 students from Tanjong Katong Secondary, Hwa Chong Institution, Christ Church Secondary, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Millenia Institute, and Chung Cheng High School. Besides being inspired by the talk, the students experienced a “Death Zone” experience of climbing at high-altitude, simulated with a hypoxicator which reduces the body’s oxygen intake. They also had hands-on experience with some high-altitude mountaineering equipment at the gear display tent.

Base camp Talk

Death Zone Experience

Gear Display

The team spends a lot of time conducting motivational talks and programmes for students, and also mentoring youth climbing groups, all without any financial gain. They do this because they love the sport and believe in the values it imparts. I encourage all youths eligible for their programmes to take advantage of the opportunity,” said the team’s patron Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who was Guest of Honor for the programme launch.

Speech by GOH

The students responded to the team’s message by stating their ‘Everest’ on the online Dreamscape (, hosted on the team’s official website. Stating their ‘Everest’ was their first step to achieving their goal.

Chew Li Hong, 17, from Hwa Chong Institution said her Everest is to “speak French fluently and conquer a marathon. I want to do 10K under 48 min!

High Camp activity – Online Dreamscape

On the second day (3 Aug), the students were challenged to a mini ‘Everest’ experience where they went through a series of ice-climbing, rope ascending and abseiling at SAFRA Adventure Sports Centre. Through these physical feats, students gained confidence and self-belief as key to achieving their ‘Everest’ in life.

Esther assisting a student to put on the crampon onto the climbing boots

Artificial Ice Climbing attempted by a student

Peh Gee giving tips to the student on how to manage the ascender

A student from Tanjong Katong Sec trying out the ascend on fixed-rope

Lihui demonstrating the L-shape position for abseil

Students on abseil

The Aspiring Mountaineers Programme was greeted with overwhelming response from schools the island over. But due to manpower constraints, the team had to limit the capacity of students to 100 for the launch. However, we will continue with this community effort and bring this programme to schools who’re interested from now till November, after which the programme will resume after we return from our Everest climb in mid 2009.

More on the Aspiring Mountaineers Programme (AMP)

This initiative is born from SWET’s belief that our journey to the top of Mount Everest is more than a physical endeavor, and that our experience as a visionary and highly motivated team can directly benefit today’s youth. There are three stages in the AMP:

SWET will be share our Everest journey, focusing on the character-building aspects that can be transferred to our youths as guiding principles in their daily lives.

HIGH CAMP – DEFINE YOUR OWN ‘EVEREST’ – Online participation.
Students will be login to an online “Dreamscape” hosted on SWET’s website, where they will define and pledge their commitment to their ‘Everest’, as their first step to achieve their goal.

SUMMIT – FULFILLING THE JOURNEY – Physical activity to simulate a mini “Everest” experience.
Students will challenge themselves on an artificial ice-climbing wall under the supervision of SWET. This aims to instill confidence and facilitate self-belief as the key to achieving a goal.

If you are keen to bring this programme to your school, contact us at

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our friends for taking their personal time to assist us at the launch on both days!


Pictures of our ice climbing trip

Monday, February 4th, 2008

We are back from China. We spent 4 fruitful days in Shuang-Qiao-Gou to ice climb. What made this trip more interesting was that there were other Singaporeans ice climbing with us. The SWET team was never lonely 🙂

the-ice-climbers.JPG The group making our way from the airport to Sim’s Cozy Garden Hostel.

We stayed one night in Chengdu, and the following morning, we headed direct to Shuang-Qiao-Gou (3400m a.s.l).

tibetan-homestay.JPG We stayed at the Tibetan homestay lodge.

Each day, we made day trips out to the nearby ice falls to ice climb, and return to the lodge for dinner. Shuang-Qiao-Gou offers interesting trails that lead to various ice falls. For one of the ice falls, we had to cross a “half-frozen” river …

river-crossing.JPG Kim Boon set up a line to make crossing easier. We crossed it the way Peh Gee did … but …

yihui-did-it-differently.JPG Yihui chose to do it differently :p

We took another 30mins to trek up the overgrown trails and the majestic ice falls appeared right before our eyes.

ice-slopes.JPG The icey slope – our play field!

We were geared with Marmot shell (top & bottom), Marmot beanie, Black Diamond helmet & ice axes, Smith sunshades & goggles, Buff neck warmers, and Polar AXN 300 watches which tells us the altitude we’re at …

the-ladies-with-axes.JPG All ready to hit the ice fall!

We started with ascending on fixed rope with an ice axe. For the first two days, we moved around the ice fall without carrying a pack.

yihui-on-fixed-rope-with-ice-axe.JPG Yihui making her way up a near vertical ice fall [Good front point technique is crutial].

joanne-abseil.JPG That’s me, abseiling off the ice fall.

peh-gee-lock-off-on-an-abseil.JPG Peh Gee lock-off on an abseil using a French-prussik.

karen-marzuki-went-up-the-ropes-too.JPG Karen and Marzuki went up the ice slope too.

The remaining two days, we trained with a 16-18kg load (we put rocks into our packs to make the weight). Kim Boon and his technical crew fixed up a 400m fixed rope circuit for us to practice. On an average, we took about 1hr 20mins to complete one circuit. The time taken is equivalent to a 12km road run. We managed 4 circuits, about 1.6km of fixed ropes at 3,600m a.s.l. The ice climbing trip was to prepare ourselves for a 1.3km fixed ropes at Lotse Face of Mount Everest at above 7,500m.

team-on-circuit-with-load.JPG Jane, leading the team on the fixed rope circuit.

peh-gee-on-fixed-rope-with-18kg-load.JPG Peh Gee ascending with a 18kg load.

esther-preparing-to-abseil.JPG Esther was preparing to abseil after a traverse.

with-ren-qing.JPG That’s me again, a photo with Ren-Qing (one of the 3 technical support crew) while waiting for Esther to clear the abseil line.

For lunch, we had tibetan bread, eggs, and PowerBar gels from Hivelocity!

esther-yihui.JPG Esther & Yihui with their hard-boiled eggs and getting comfortable with their Smith goggles.

lihui-eating-boiled-egg.JPG Lihui so engrossed with peeling the egg shell …

with-jane.JPG Jane & me, fighting to have the biggest bite on the tibetan bread.

team-trainers.JPG SWET with Kim Boon, and the three technical support crew from Chuan-Zang Gao-Shan Xie-Zuo Dui.

We returned to Chengdu on the 26th Jan. Back to the city, we unwind with a foot massage, and enjoyed the many good food in Chengdu.

team-unwind-at-shamrock.JPG The group unwind at Shamrock, an Iris pub in Chengdu.

at-shamrock.JPG Bacardi breezer, 25Rmb (=S$5) per bottle.

kb-at-shamrock.JPG Our most respectable Lin-Jiao-Lian. Mr Lim Kim Boon, the mountain man, he is the one who taught many Singaporeans how to ice climb! Kudos!

We have less than 50 days to departing for Nepal. It is now back to stairs climb, running and trail circuit. Way to go!

No Glory

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Mountain climbing is somewhat different from many sports. Perhaps it is not thought of as a sport by some.

Unlike triathlons and running races or even racquet games, where there are throngs of people watching, to see how one performs at different stages, and more so to cheer, to welcome athletes at the finishing. When we climb, we are pretty much on our own, no spectators to greet us at the summit.

There is no competition in mountain climbing. I mean, we don’t race to get to the top, and hence, there’s no excitement to that extend, therefore, no audience to woo.

In principle, it is between me and the forces of nature, or me and my weakness. No other forms of human considerations, my decision dictate my fate in the mountains. It is this simplicity that draws me to want to keep climbing.

I am thrilled by the view and sense of achievement when I stood on top of a mountain. Instinctively, I know that it is only half a journey done, I still have the other half of the journey to battle with.

Whatever, there is no podium to stand on, no medals to win, no spectators to wave to. There is no glory for mountaineers, and I am perfectly fine with that.

Happy 2008 to you!

Monday, December 31st, 2007

New Year is the time to celebrate a new beginning.

May you achieve what you aspire, and may all your dreams come true.

Wishing you a fulfilling new year!

Warmest Regards,

Singapore Women’s Everest Team

Thank you, TriFam

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

To the members of the Triathlon Family, THANK YOU for your support. We hope you will like our calendars and t-shirts.

Here’s Chen Munn, posing with our calendar! 🙂


You can support us too. Buy our limited edition 2008 calendar at S$25 each.

Or buy our “i support the Singapore Women’s Everest Team” limited edition t-shirt at S$30 each.


Contact us at

Adopt A Meter

Sunday, December 16th, 2007


To raise funds for its Everest expedition, SWET is letting you adopt 8,850m of its climb up on eBay Singapore. As an individual, you may wish to adopt a metre off our store on eBay, and literally get a taste of Everest! We are also offering attractive sponsorship packages to interested corporate sponsors who may buy lots of 100m for SGD15 per metre.

When you adopt a metre, you will receive an Adoption Certificate in addition to these special treats from us!

Details at Adopt A Meter

Comics for thoughts

Monday, December 10th, 2007


Run & Trek

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

The GE 10k Run

Took place on 21st Oct, Sunday

My race actually started from the car park next to the old ACM. After securing a lot, I dashed my way towards the Padang. I was relieved to see many ladies still strolling into Padang and was thinking “wow, these ladies are late too?” Then I got to realise, they were in for the 5km run to be flag-off at 8.30am :p

At the start line, the time clock was already reading 3:23 … I was late for the 7.30am flag-off. Hurriedly, I ran passed the start line, pinned up my number tag, took big strike hoping to catch up with the main pack of the runners. That morning had been raining, the rain stop in time for us, hence the weather was quite cooling.

Along the way, I met Nisah and Julie (both are avid adventure racers). The duo were enjoying their run when I greeted them. Amazing ladies they are, they could sing and run at the same time, which they would normally do so too at adventure races. I wondered what the other runners were thinking while they were grasping for air to keep in pace, the two big lungs ladies were singing in tune with a steady strike *grin* 🙂

My watch read 18mins ++ when I witnessed the two leading runners zoom passed me after they U-turned at the junction of Mountbatten Road. When the Kenyan lady finished at 33:44, I was probably still struggling at the 5th km! LOL

My run time: Gun time: 1:06: 24hr / Chip time: 1:02:47hr … there’s room for improvement

The people I met at the end point … Loyce (with OBS) who gave me water to drink at the finishing :); Jasmine, the petit & pretty adventure racer; Ros, a teacher also an adventure racer; Mike who busied ushering runners to return the Champion chips; Mrs Leong (my ex-boss’ wife) & friend; Raymond the runner/tri-athlete, he introduced me to his wife – Joanna; Nisah & Julie, the funning duo were queuing at the Osim booth; Jinella Chua (mother of one!) who left OBS for a teaching career; Wilfred of NYP (also formerly from OBS), the friendly students from ARC (Ngee Ann Poly) volunteering their time as officials even after organising an adventure race the day before …

Belumut Trek

Went to Belumut (1010m a.s.l.) today. I really miss the tropical jungle treks in Malaysia. I bet the leeches miss me too. I got two leeches leech-ed to my legs, one on my left ankle, another on my right knee (they can crawl that high even with me wearing trek pants!)

Leech That blood sucker leech!

leeches The bloody stain!

Kluang At Kluang Railway Station waiting for the delayed scheduled train

Look forward to my next tropical trek, hopefully soon! Anyone keen?

World’s Longest Journey on Skates

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Two days ago, I met Swee Chiow at East Coast Park. He had just completed his final training on skates, while I was preparing to start my long distance run.

I am excited for him, as he is going to embark on another adventure journey. He will attempt to break the Guiness World Record of the Longest Journey on Skates. The current record is 4,175km.

Swee Chiow’s route, from Hanoi, Vietnam to Singapore, is approximately 6,000km. He plans to do it in 100 days. He is using this expedition to convey the environmental message of energy conservation.

Swee Chiow left for Hanoi this morning.

Swee Chiow

Swee with his two kids Sheng Feng (left) and Sheng En (right)

Wee Leng

Wee Leng (aka Mrs Khoo) with daughter Sheng En < wee leng will be joining swee chiow in Hanoi to give him her fullest support:) >


A photo with Swee Chiow

Supporters of Swee Chiow can track his daily progress throughout the 100-day journey by visiting his website at

I wish him best of luck and a safe journey.