SINGAPORE’S first women Everest team reached the peak of the world’s tallest mountain in Nepal early on Wednesday morning, said a spokesman for SingTel, sponsor of the climbers’ satellite phones. Ms Lee Li Hui, 27, Ms Esther Tan, 26, and Ms Jane Lee, 25 arrived at 3.45am, 3.54am and 4.43am on Wednesday Nepal time respectively, making them the first Singaporean women to conquer Everest.
It took courage, determination and excellent leadership and teamwork to scale the world's highest peak.
The team has once again demonstrated what Singaporeans can do against all odds when they set their minds to it.
Armed with SingTel’s Iridium satellite phones and broadband access to smses and e-mails, the Singapore women Everest team is able to call home and keep in touch with their families, thousands of metres above sea level. The first three climbers who made it to the top of the world early on Wednesday, called home immediately when they reached the summit.
The second team, which consists of Ms Joanne Su, 39, Ms Sim Yihui, 27, and Ms Lee Peh Gee, 32, is currently on its way and plans to summit on Friday. The women began their ascent on May 8.
Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan, congratulating the team’s conquest, said: ‘They have once again demonstrated what our people can do against all odds when we set our minds to it.’ Singapore adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow, 45, who has conquered Mount Everest twice before, was thrilled when he heard the news.
‘Singapore will be proud! It has been quite long since I last climbed Everest, so it’s about time that women are up there! This is a difficult endeavour so my heartfelt congratulations goes out to them,’ he told straitstimes.com on Wednsday morning. Mr Khoo reached the world’s tallest peak in 1998 and once more in 2006.
The team has in fact contacted him through e-mail before their ascent to ask him questions about scaling the world’s tallest mountain. Mr Khoo said that although he is happy for the team, the task is not over until they return to base camp, as the climbers will still face difficulties and dangers descending the mountain. Some of the challenges they would have faced are the cold, altitude sickness, a lack of oxygen, fatigue, dehydration and hunger, explained Mr Khoo.
He added: "It is one of the hardest climbs…your body’s abilities are really stretched."