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Support Trek Arrives!

Dear Friends,

Highlight of today was the visit of our first Singaporean visitors – our Official Support Trek. 9 members led by Kelvin Chen popped by with truck in the late morning and spent a few hours here. They’ll be back tomorrow from their Rongbuk Monastery camp (13km away) for some hiking at and above basecamp. All appeared in good health and spirits. Quite sporting of them to do the 4 day trek – appproach. We’re delighted with the goodie packs brought by them for us. These included spare batteries for TS’s hearing aids, Singapore snacks, letters, photos etc. from loved ones. Ah – a whiff of home!

Today, Rozani is climbing up to the North Col. Weather over here is cloudy with basecamp mostly in the sun. Winds higher up are moderate. If this prevail tomorrow, Rozani may be up to setting a supplementary oxygen-free record for Singapore climbers, climbing to or near to 7900m without using the aid of bottled oxygen – we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Down here, we’ve been talking tactics and timings. There is a possibility that we’ll be climbing in 2 separate teams for the summit owing to our different acclimatisation levels, with summit days being between May 16 – 21.

On a sobering note, last night, we discussed the matter of dead bodies. Many of the American climbers on Eric Simonson’s teams have been over this ground before and the sighting and climbing around bodies has happened. We know that there are at least three recent bodies from 1996 and 1998 on the actual summit route – 3 Ladakhis who died in the May 10 -11 storm, also Francis Arsentiev, whose body is frozen into the section below the First Step, about 4 hours above Camp 6. These people were once a son, a daughter, wife to a family. If they are too affixed/iced-up to the mountain to be removed with respect and committed to the mountain we need to maintain respect for their lives and deaths by moving with prudence and caution around their remains.

From Rongbuk BC,

Support trek group at basecamp rongbuk chatting with members Gil and David (far left).
Pic: by Beng Cheong on the IXUS

David Lim wears a Toe-Off orthotic on his right foot.


The expedition’s sole ‘foreign’ sponsor, Camp is a Swedish firm specialising in orthotics manufacture. Expedition leader David Lim wears a Toe-Off orthotic to stabilise his disabled right ankle when he’s not climbing mountains. The kevlar, carbon fibre and glass fibre composite orthotic delivers a springboard action and helps encourage a natural gait for people with an active lifestyle. Camp is proud to associate itself with this Expedition.

Read Kelvin’s report on his visit to the Basecamp!

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