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Redefine Your Limits

25th August 2017: The day we fly off from Almaty (Chin Joo Ern)

The next day, we woke up, had a hearty breakfast of oats, lowered the Singapore flag from Karaka Base Camp and took pictures with Mr Kazbek and the rest of the team that hosted us at Karaka Base Camp before beginning the long journey back to Almaty.   This was to be a 6 hours…
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24th August 2017: Day 6 in Siemienova glacier (Victor Toh)

Today marks the final day we are spending in our Base Camp at Siemienova glacier. Our instructor, Edwin, had told us the night before that the chopper would be coming at 10am subjected to the clear weather, hence all of us were eagerly awake by 6.30 a.m., and preparing for the pack-up. Some of us…
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23rd August 2017: The summit to OTC (Ong Weung Kee)

Being disappointment in my performance climbing Mt. Ong Siew Mei, I was ready to redeem myself at the climb up Mt. Ong Teng Cheong. This time, on the team, there were only Mao, Wenkie and I. We headed off at an ungodly hour in the morning, to beat the recent erratic weather patterns. The morning…
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22nd August 2017: Day before OTC summit push (Peng Mao Yu)

After several days of eating Koka instant noodles, today the team woke up earlier to cook Japanese Tonkatsu udon. I was thankful for the change of flavour and warm meal. Together with Team 1, we were exhausted after the summit push to Ong Siew May peak yesterday. Hence, it was heart-warming for the rest of…
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21st August 2017: The summit to OSM (Wesley Ler)

The day starts at 3am in the morning. Getting up itself was much of a challenge as it was still freezing. We groggily put on our equipment at a rather slow pace while boiling water for our trip and it took us about 2 hours before we were ready to set off. The sky was…
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20th August 2017: Technical Training Day at 3900m (Wenkie Lau)

Before this formal technical training day, I acclimatized quite well and had and open mindset of learning new techniques for ice climbing as this is the first time that I get to know about it and practice it in realistic environment. Therefore, I was excited to know how fast can I absorb the skills and…
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19th August 2017: Moving to Siemienova glacier (Vivian)

Well, today we are leaving Karkara commercial camp and going to our base camp between OTC and OSM. Initially, the thought of having to sleep on glacier ice frightens me a little as I’m a person who is extremely afraid of cold. In addition, we (9 of us + Edwin + our Russian guide) will…
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18th August 2017: Moving off to Karkara Camp (Mervin Ng)

We started the day with an array of buffet delicacies at the International Breakfast in Hotel Kazzhol. I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve had but if you compare to the following days to come… I wouldn’t mind having a few more days of this. Around 9am, we left the hotel and started loading our…
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16th – 17th August 2017: The journey to Kazakhstan (Loo Jun Wen)

Finally, the day of departure has come! While riding in my parents’ car on the way to airport, I was excited but also a bit fearful for the uncertainty of our journey there as we had to transit in Bangkok and Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Both cities were places I have never been to, so that…
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Day 10 (return to SG): Peng Mao Yu

Finally back to the concrete ground of the city! It felt a bit foreign as our bodies had already been accustomed to the soil and rocks of the wilderness. Returning to Singapore today, we bid farewell to our cosy little house in Cheng Du and had breakfast at Dicos after reaching Chengdu Railway Station, satisfying…
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Day 9 (Back to Cheng Du): Mervin Ng

Finally we’ve reached the end of our adventures. Time to head back to chengdu. Just like how we got here we had to embark on a grueling 5 hours drive back. On our way back we chanced upon beautiful sceneries. One particular sight was amazing! We stood above a pool clouds and surrounded by gorgeous…
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Day 7 (Ascend to Base Camp): Vivian Lai

As usual, we struggled out of our cozy warm heated bed 30 minutes before breakfast was served at 8am. After our sumptuous hot meal, we went back to prepare and get ready to set off for the climb. We started our trek from Rilong and hiked from the entrance of Haizi Gou. Junwen and Yuxin…
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Day 6 (Ice Climbing Day 3.5 and Travelling to Ri Long): Mervin Ng

It was the final day of ice climbing. Today’s hike up to the frozen waterfall training ground is by far the steepest. As I have just recovered from AMS (acute mountain sickness), this came especially shocking to me, as I even struggled to make my way to the toilet in the middle of the night.…
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Day 4 (Ice Climbing Day 2): Joo Ern

The day began with a wretched alarm that rang 30 minutes earlier than the agreed upon time. The room with Loo Jun Wen (21), Mao and myself all woke up and started packing our bags for the day and putting on them cumbersome snow boots. This was followed by a quick check on Mervin who…
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Day 3 (Ice Climbing Day 1): Jin Yu Xin

Waking up at 8.00am in an altitude of 3500m, I felt a little dizzy and the lack of proper rest due to several nightmares last night was preventing me from getting out of the bed. After a few days, I  came to realize that insomnia and nightmares are common symptoms in high altitudes because of…
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Day 2 (journey to Shuang Qiao Gou): Peng Mao Yu

We dragged ourselves out of our cozy and comfortable beds after being woken up at 7am by the blaring alarms of 6 mobile phones. We had yoghurt drinks, walnut milk as well as some snacks for a light breakfast. The long anticipated journey to Siguniang is about to begin! It started off as a drowsy…
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Day 1 (arrival in CQ, to CD): Jin Yu Xin

Our plane departed from Singapore Changi Airport at 12:35am on 17th Dec 2016. Looking out of the airplane window, you can see the city sleeping soundly like a child with golden sparks glowing small and distant. After an uncomfortable sleep, we finally reached Chongqing around 5:00 AM. The temperature there was 20 ℃ lower than…
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Day 6 – Hanoi: Vivian Lai Yee Qi

Woke up for hostel’s free breakfast (baguette and scrambled eggs) at 9:50am because our dear friend, Mao, fell sick and needed more rest. After which, we took our shower and checked out. Since it was our last day, we barely have any money left. We pulled together our money and thankfully we still have sufficient…
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Day 5 – Hanoi: Vivian Lai Yee Qi

“HANOI~HANOI~…” We arrived at Hanoi around 5:30am. Most of us dragged our feet down the train and all the way till our hostel. As it was very early in the morning, the streets are relatively empty. We were not allowed to check in to our hostel till 11:30am that day L. We left our bulky…
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Day 4 – Base Camp (2800m) – Fansipan (3143m): Peng Mao Yu

3am: The SUTD fansipians, exhausted from the climb up, fall asleep as the moon rises. All except for one, a wild Kunal woke up in the middle of the night in search for the gents. Despite his stealth attempt, his spark of light shone on the 3 sleeping beauties disrupting their sleep. 4am: Lightning flashes,…
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Day 3 – Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sapa – Base Camp (2800m): Benjamin Yong

We reached Lao Cai station at approximately 6.15am. The train ride was comfortable and cosy. At first glance of the surroundings, I felt the silence of the foggy atmosphere. It was deceiving as we stepped out of the station to be surrounded by a bustling town centre, where we met our contact driver. The drive…
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Day 2 – Hanoi: Isaac Ng

Day 2 has been tiring, surprisingly. The weather’s hot and walking around in slippers is tiring on my feet. I didn’t get all that much sleep because someone living in the same room was snoring away, but after playing rainymood on my headphones, I managed to get some sleep. Most of the day was spent…
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Day 1 – Singapore – Hanoi: Kunal Jhaveri

Well, D-day had arrived and we gathered at the airport after a few weeks of training. I could tell that we were pretty excited. For many of us, it was the first time going to Vietnam and for the freshies their first trip with the club. The first day was pretty chill, we reached the…
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Day 16 – Mount SUTD Summit

This was it – the day of our summit attempt. All that we have worked hard for since May 2012 was now a reality. We woke up feeling groggy but ready to go. We all wondered if we could make it to the summit, as the estimated time for the summit attempt would be 8…
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Day 15 – Summit Camp (5490m)

At 0200 hours in the morning, we heard a flurry of muttering in Hindi and the crunching of snow boots on rock – was it time already? We knew we were supposed to wake at 0230 – maybe they were packing/preparing for our summit attempt. All of a sudden, Edwin poked his head into our…
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Day 14 – Camp 1 (5256m) – Summit Camp (5490m)

We had our acclimatisation trek from Camp I (5256m) to Summit Camp (5490m) and back yesterday. We will be moving from Camp I to Summit Camp today. Summit Camp is just below the pass (which we can name) and ridge that we are aiming to climb. Our initial plan was to leave Camp I at…
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Day 13 – Camp I (5256m) – Summit Camp (5490m) – Camp I (5256m)

Last night was one of the most uncomfortable nights we’ve had in a camp thus far. We did our best to lay flat rocks beneath our tents to make the ground as even as possible, but we could still feel rocks poking against our backs. Needless to say, the sleep was not peaceful, but given…
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Day 12 – Advanced Base Camp (5006m) – Camp 1 (5256m)

I woke up to the sound of “Chai?” with great anticipation. Our porters dutifully served us chai every morning. This served as our wake up call as well. A beautiful morning The initial plan was for us to trek two hours, approximately 2Km, from ABC (5006m) to Camp I (5256m) and back to ABC (5006m).…
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Day 11 – Advanced Base Camp (5006m)

Edwin, Raymond, Wei Zhen and I met with the guides last night to discuss the schedule. We were one day behind schedule as we stayed an extra day at Base Camp to allow Yi Qian to acclimatise. That extra day did him good as he was feeling a lot of better after that. All of…
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Day 10 – Base Camp (4400m) – Advanced Base Camp (5006m)

A full day of rest yesterday precedes our movement up to Advanced Base Camp (5006m). The ABC is just 100m (in altitude) away from the Intermediate Camp where we left our equipment. Compared to the previous trip, the climb up to IC today was a breeze. We took just one hour and thirty minutes, which…
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Day 9 – Base Camp (4400m)

As we all know by now, Yi Qian had Diamox the night before. As a result, he was peeing non-stop throughout the night. Non-stop is an exaggeration, but yeah, you know what I mean. Thankfully, Yi Qian woke up with a minor headache and his Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) was largely cured. It was great…
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Day 8 – Base Camp (4400m) – Intermediate Camp (4898m) – Base Camp (4400m)

Like little hatchlings leaving the comfort of our nest for the first time, today was the day that we left the relative comfort of our Base Camp and began our first cycle of acclimatization; a trip to Intermediate Camp (4898m) and back. Rise and shine Javier Samuel packing his stuff Yi Qian placing his technical…
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Day 7 – Base Camp (4400m)

This was our second day in Base Camp. It was a rest day for us to acclimatize as we had ascended very quickly over the past 3 days with no rest days at all. There was no wake up call today! Most of us enjoyed a good 12 hours of sleep. Some of us had…
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Day 6 — Batal — Base Camp (4400m)

The day started a little earlier than the last, By 0600 hours, most of us were already awake. After a good meal of pancakes and cereal, we went back to do some last minute packing. When we were finally ready to set off, Anil led us out of Batal and we headed for Base Camp…
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Day 5 — Middle of Nowhere — Batal — Lake Chandertal — Batal

The first night sleeping outdoors was peaceful. We woke up to a bright and sunny morning. Today, our objective was to pack everything up and move to another camp just before the base camp. We took a two hour jeep ride to Batal, put down our stuff and left for an acclimatization walk at a…
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Day 4 — Manali — Rohtang Pass — Chhatru — Middle of Nowhere

We woke up at 0400 hours and headed to the lobby with our belongings. The vehicles arrived shortly and we loaded our equipment onto the roofs of the vehicles. We were excited and reluctant at the same time. Excited because this marked the commencement of our expedition; reluctant because we had to leave behind the…
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Day 3 — Manali

It’s our second day at Manali and we were housed at a supposedly luxurious hotel that costs USD 400 per night (EDIT by Samuel: It’s a package for 3 nights). Of course, we did not pay that much money to stay there, as our India counterparts are able to get a discounted price, as they…
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Day 2 — Chandigarh — Manali

Chandigarh is a crowded and highly polluted city. We were all looking forward to going to Manali for the fresh air and cool weather. We departed at 0900 hours from the hotel and took the same old route to Manali. We passed familiar landmarks en route and the journey seemed to be a lot shorter…
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Day 1 — Singapore — New Delhi — Chandigarh

Today we embark on our journey. We journey to India from Singapore. We met at Changi Airport at 0630 hours. After checking in, we were pleasantly surprised by Provost’s appearance at the airport. He specially went down to send us off and wish us a safe journey. We took a picture with our expedition banner,…
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Mountain Cravings Satisfied

We had simple vegetarian food continuously for 10 days in the mountains. Naturally, we had craved for delicious food back home. We talked about the famous stalls selling various foods such as Chicken Rice, Prawn Noodle, Nasi Lemak, Mee Soto Ayam, Kway Chup, Pig Organ Soup with Salted Vegetables, Roti Prata (for some, we already…
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Day 7 — Gramphu — Manali

I started the day feeling really good. The wind was a lot milder compared to what we experienced yesterday and the sun was shining brightly. We took our time to pack up our tents and our supplies. In the mean time, we took some selfies together! Selfie with our assistant cook Packing up our tents…
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Day 6 — Chhatru — Gramphu

The sky was overcast today, which was great for us! The weather wasn’t too cold nor too hot, and we would have extended periods of hard snow. We made lots of progress within the first 2 hours of our departure. Did someone put this here? The sun hiding behind the clouds A very dim morning…
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Day 5 — Chhota Dara — Chhatru

We set off at 0730 in the morning to catch the hard snow. It is much easier to walk on hard snow as we would not sink into the snow. All packed and ready to go! The valley we came from The sun was shining brightly on my back. I officially hate snow now. The…
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Day 4 — Chhota Dara (Rest Day)

We woke up to clear skies and sunny weather, but there was some bad news. Mountaineers do not usually move after heavy snow. Especially after 24 hours of snow. A fresh coat of powder snow covers the mountains and thus makes the area susceptible to powder avalanches and rock fall, when the ice melts. As…
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Day 3 — Middle of Nowhere — Chhota Dara

No amount of words and pictures can aptly describe my experience today. Nonetheless, I will try. It was the middle of the night, at about 0200 hours. I woke up and felt that the tent was closer to my face than usual. Thinking nothing much of it, I went back to sleep. Shortly after that,…
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Day 2 — Middle Of Nowhere — Chhatru — Middle of Nowhere

As the title suggests, we rested near a stupa in the middle of nowhere. If I’m not wrong, it was 8.5Km away from Chhatru. We had a simple breakfast consisting of toast and omelette, with some Kaya and Peanut Butter, with compliments from Raymond! We have to remember to bring food for the next trip.…
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Day 1 — Manali — Rohtang Pass — Khoksar — Gramphu

Perhaps I should start my journal the night before Day 1. We all met for dinner at our favourite butter chicken and tandoori chicken restaurant. The food was really good and affordable. Everyone kept saying how this was our “Last Supper”. Indeed it was, for me. Well maybe perhaps for them as well since they…
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Day 16 — Training Camp — Manali

We spent a day in Training Camp to clean up our equipment before returning it to the local guides. It was convenient that all the snow melted and we had access to a river to wash our ice axes, mountain boots and some clothing. It was a busy day trying to dry everything before we…
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Day 15 — Base Camp — Training Camp

It was a great rest last night as it wasn’t as cold. I can only look forward to the end of today as we were heading back to Training Camp, where it will be much, much, warmer. Deep inside me, I knew that it was going to be a tough day. I had frostnip on…
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Day 14 — High Camp — Summit — Base Camp

This is it. the past 2 days of crazy trekking under the relentless sun and cold have led to this. The summit push usually starts at dusk, so that means we had to wake up at 0100 hours and be ready by 0200 hours… …but that didnt happen. It was one of those mornings where…
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