Robert Goh, Lulin, Dr Mok and Edwin first started this program in 2002 after their Xixabangma Expedition.They called it the Make It Real (MIR) Programme. The original MIR logo was adopted from the Xixabangma expedition logo, which was sponsored by a design company. Their objective was to train a new generation of mountaineers.
The first 5 batches of MIR was a designed as 1 year program, and it was not yet a recognised club of the school. Apart from training and preparing for the TMC/expedition, the team had to do their own fund raising. Team members have to call up potential sponsors, send out proposals, and fulfill sponsorship obligations by doing publicity events.
These photos were taken with a younger Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. He was the first patron for Make It Real, and a very supportive one.
Ex-NUS president Shih Choon Foong, with Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
It was not meant to be a program where anyone and everyone could join as it demanded a very high level of commitment. It consisted of a weekly schedule that involved 1 technical training session, 2 gym sessions, 2 10-km runs, 1 stairs training session and 1 Bukit Timah training session. The intake was in August, and the team would train for a Technical Mountaineering Course in New Zealand scheduled in December.
The programme would then culminate in an expedition to a Himalayan peak exceeding 6000m in May/June at the end of the NUS academic year. The team usually consisted of not more than 12 members and they had to pass stringent assessments in physical fitness (10 km running passing time for guys was 50 mins) and technical competency.
MIR 1 consisted of : Thong Soon Ho (Team leader), Stefen Chow E-fung, Chew Ying Ying, Keith Jhee, Ee Khong Lean, Chen Huilian, Lim Hoe Joo, Shaffique Aljoofri, Imran Ahmad.
Notable Climbs :
Xixabangma Advance Base Camp, 5400m (2002, with Singapore Xixabangma Expedition Team)
Chulu West 6419m (2002)
Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak) 5662m (2002)