Conquering Mountains: An Interview with Team Singapura Everest
“Coming from different walks of life, experiences and backgrounds, we are bounded by 1 common goal, and that is to summit Everest together as one united people of Singapore”.
The Team Singapura Everest has been training religiously almost daily with their objective to summit the Mount Everest in 2015 on Singapore’s 50th birthday. It all started in 2010 when some of the team members met up for a regular coffee. They then pondered over a dream of a team member, Shariff Abdullah, who wants to climb the mountain in 2015. Since then, the team has been training and planning for their expedition to create awareness of mountaineering in Singapore as well as to foster national spirit.
Currently, the team has seven members and they are: Mohammad Sufian bin Sulaiman, Nur Yusrina Yaakob, Zulkifli bin Latiff, Muhd Hilwan bin Mohd Idrus, Seuman Yeo Jian Wen, Ismail bin Latiff and Jonathan Tee Shao Ming. The team members differ in experiences and background but are bound with a common dream. Muzlimbuzz managed to get an interview with the team.
Muzlimbuzz: What is Team Singapura Everest’s biggest dream?
[box_light]The common goal of the team is to celebrate Singapore’s 50th Birthday at the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Aside from the common goal, what inspired the members to join this team?
[box_light]Most of us would be honoured to represent Singapore for something extraordinary. This project started with team members of zero or little mountain experience, but to perform a feat such as this for the nation, inspires the team.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Most climbers from the team are Muslims. How has faith helped, or hindered your efforts towards achieving what you set out to do?
[box_light]Faith has always been the driving factor along with our sheer determination to excel and succeed. InsyAllah, our faith in our religion will not only assist, but guide us to be the best of what we can deliver to the team.
This journey is a great opportunity to reflect on the creations that surround us by getting to know the Creator through His creations. It helps us to be a better Muslim, by appreciating God’s Gift to mankind.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Can you tell me more about how the team conduct the trainings? How frequent? Where do you usually train to hike?
[box_light]Training is conducted 3 times weekly. Training aims to improve the team members’ physical fitness in different aspects and technical proficiency.
1. Cardio: Runs 5-10km, Swim 1km, Staircase sprints, and interval trainings.
2. Core muscles: 5 set of staircase trainings (40 floors with a load of 15kg), calisthenics and gym workouts.
3. Endurance: Long treks, circuits at Bukit Timah and Mount Faber.
4. Technical trainings: Practice crevasse rescue and rope works.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Your trainings consisted of hiking to the summit some other mountains as well. Can you tell us about a memorable one?
[box_light]The Technical Mountaineering Course expedition in Manali India was the memorable one so far where we face the combination of harsh weather (rain, cold and blizzard). It was the first snow peak mountain that we summit-ed as a team. The sun rising above the horizon while we climb was simply a magnificent sight.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: What is the biggest challenge among all expeditions as a team/individually? How did you all manage this challenge?
The biggest challenge as a team is to align everyone’s expectation. Different people have different expectations and targets that they have set. In ensuring that everyone would achieve a common goal and target is the most difficult one. So to overcome this, the team needs to spend a lot of time training with each other. Only when each and everyone of us can see through the differences and focus on the common objective, then we can all come together and achieve great things as one.
As for our individual biggest challenge, it is overcoming our own mental barrier that is the toughest. Every expedition will require us to break this barrier which limits our potential. The only way to overcome this is through teamwork. Teamwork is crucial in ensuring that we exceed our boundaries to reach greater heights.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: I find it amazing that most of you come from different career backgrounds and of different age groups. Share with us some ways in which the team motivates each other.
[box_light]The team have very different individuals with very different characteristics. We bounced off each other for comfort, assurance, humour, experiences, wisdoms and ideas but we all have one common goal. By now, after 1.5 years of training and being together, we are attuned to each other to work towards our mission.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Besides physical training, what other preparations were done for the mission?
[box_light]A lot of readings were done. Both the libraries and bookstores had a wide array of books on mountaineering. Local Everesters like Swee Chiow, David Lim and Singapore Women’s Everest Team were our inspiration and the knowledge shared was greatly immense. The internet also has lots of information and videos on the journeys of mountaineers conquering their challenges.[/box_light]
Muzlimbuzz: Anything else you would like to share?
[box_light]We hope that Singaporeans would support and join us in celebrating Singapore’s 50th Birthday.[/box_light]
The team is targeting to summit the peak of Mount Everest on Singapore’s 50th birthday in 2015. To support their cause and help in their fundraising efforts, you can follow them by liking their Facebook page here. As you are reading this, the team now is on their Mera-Island Peak Expedition and are attempting to climb the two peaks which very few Singaporean teams have attempted. Like them on Facebook to receive constant updates of their trainings and expeditions. You can also check out their website here: http://www.teamsingapuraeverest.com/[divider]
Siti Nur Naqiah
Always curious, Naqiah enjoys reading, learning, exploring and discovering about faith to continuously fuel her needs as she is in service in this world for the One. With this, she inspire to utilize her skill and pastime of writing as a medium of sharing with the society.