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Last despatch from Nepal…

Dear Folks,

We’ve heard the shocking news today that most of the Nepalese royal family, maybe 9 or 11 members have been shot and killed by the Nepal Crown Prince. Today, virtually all the shops and offices are closed as both a mark of respect to the dead King, as well as fear of instability within the capital. Everything is calm here but it is a bit tense. We hope we can leave for our flight tomorrow morning without a hitch. Singapore Airlines, our Official Airline has kindly worked out some nice advance checkin for ourselves and our 40+ pieces of baggage.

Today, we also said goodbye to our American team and friends. In the two months on the mountain, we’ve seen a lot and learned a lot from these professionals. So it’s goodbye to our old and new friends.

From email, media reports et al, we’re happy to learn that the vast majority of Singaporeans and international watchers have been tremendously supportive – even if we did not make the summit. Technical and altitude mountaineering in Singapore is a sport less than 15 years old and combined international expeditions such as ours even less so. We need to mature, as do our supportive (or not so supportive) public. We need to be able to tolerate the need to achieve a bit more than just the summit.

The only fly in the soup, we understand, is a piece of inaccurate, biased and vindictive journalism published last week in the Today, a recently established Singapore newspaper. You just can’t keep everyone happy, so it seems.

We’ll probably do another final roundup of the expedition in a week or so. Also, we may add the 1997 Cho Oyu and 1998 1st Singapore Everest Expedition archives into the site eventually. We’ll also use this website to feature other expeditions by the Mountaineering Society of Singapore – so stay tuned. It was great to get all your emails, funny comments, words of encouragement. We’re going home soon to enjoy the , kisses and warmth of our loved ones and friends, the tropical air of Singapore, things more familiar, the stupendously good food at home.

From Gil, Beng Cheong, Rozani, TingSern and myself, a warm goodbye – until the next expedition!

Regards,
David

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