MIR 4 was formed under the guidance of members from MIR 3, Sim Yi Hui and Jane Lee. The initial 13 members were narrowed down till 6. The team had been training for 3-4 times a week, and these trainings included long-distance runs, gym work and carrying loaded packs up and down Bukit Timah Hill and HDB blocks. Besides training, the team had to go through numerous drafting proposals and phone calls to sponsors to canvass for funds. The team had to put up exhibitions at public libraries and ad-hoc events, while also conducting talks to spread awareness of mountaineering.
On 7th November 2004, the team held their first photo exhibition at the Swissotel for the Vertical Marathon 2004. It was a showcase of photographs from past expeditions, as well as an opportunity to showcase the mountaineering experience to the public. More roadshows were to be held in the course of that year. On the 27th November, MIR 4 was invited to the launch of the Polar outdoor watch. Senior Chow E-fung shared his experience as a part of an interview. This was an event for sports enthusiasts and it was an opportunity for extreme sportsmen to interact. The following day, MIR 4 was part of a NUS celebration held at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC). It was a family carnival for all. It was another opportunity to introduce mountaineering to the public as well as an opportunity to approach other potential sponsors from other booths.
Following the success of these exhibitions and talks, the team headed off for the 9-day Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) in New Zealand at Mt Cook in December 2004. The course allowed team members to test out what they have learnt locally in the foreign snow environment. Team members also got to pick up new technical skills that would be extremely useful during future expeditions. Some examples of skills learnt include prussiking, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, abseiling, multi-pitch climbing, anchoring and ice climbing. The course thus provided a glimpse of what mountaineering is all about. Through the course, team members bonded together, helping and encouraging one another when the going gets tough.
On 2nd February 2005, the team prepared for the official launch of the programme at NUS Yusof Ishak House. MIR 4 had the opportunity to receive Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (then Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry) as the guest-of-honour. Dr Balakrishnan had been a Patron of this programme for three years at this time.
“Mountaineering is a serious sport. It encompasses elements of uncertainty and risk, but it is not a blind pursuit of risk for its own sake.”
“Mountaineering involves detailed planning, preparation and motivation to overcome obstacles and to push the human body further and higher. It represents the “can do” spirit with brains.”
“We want to nurture in our young people the ‘can-do’ spirit, the guts to overcome risk, the willingness to try their hand at something new, and the enterprising spirit to venture into unchartered territories.”
“This ‘Make It Real’ programme has been an excellent incubator over the past few years. I am especially heartened to hear that four members of the NUS’ Centennial Everest Expedition are alumni of this ‘Make It Real’ programme, while the Singapore Women’s Everest Expedition was also initiated by ‘Make It Real’ members.”
– Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 2005.
The team had also conducted talks to more than 500 Junior College Scholars under the JC scholars programme organised by the Office of Corporate Relations, and it was entitled “An Insight into Life in NUS”. With the success of engaging the public with these talks and roadshows, MIR 4 was able to reach out to the NUS community further with an article in two different NUS publications, Knowledge Enterprise and Sportlight.
As all this was going on, the team did not neglect their training, but rather intensified it. The final cut was decided by the advisors of this programme, and the assessment would also include guide reports from New Zealand as well as peer assessments.
MIR 4 ended successfully in July 2005. Six members reached the summit of Island Peak (6189m) in 2 teams of 3. Team 1 consisted of Dawa, Chin Yeh and Jinquan. Team 2 consisted of Weidi, Weiwen ad Jonnie. They had the opportunity to meet the NUS Centennial Everest team at the Everest Base Camp and experience first hand how an Everest expedition and Everest Marathon were organised. Subsequently they headed over to Kalapathar (5545m) as part of their journey back and managed to summit it as well. True friendship was forged amidst the difficult and harsh conditions in the mountains, as team members embarked on a journey of self discovery.
MIR 4 consist of: Weng Jin Quan, Koh Weidi, Chia Chin Yeh, See Wei Wen, Sua Jonie, Kanishk Singh, Choo Chew Yien, Cheah Xuan Lin Claudine, Ting Hui Shan, Wong Leo E
- Everest Base Camp, 5400m (2005, with NUS Centennial Everest Team 2005)
- Kalapathar 5545m (2005)
- Island Peak (Imja Tse), 6187m