Q: What is MIR?
A: NUS Mountaineering, otherwise more fondly known as Make It Real (MIR), is a mountaineering club in NUS founded by a group of mountaineers after their climb to Xixabangma in 2002. It has grown to be more than a club and now includes experienced and passionate alumni, as well as budding newcomers eager to develop themselves into mountaineers. Find out more about our history here.
Q: How do I join MIR?
A: NUS Mountaineering is a student organisation under the National University of Singapore (NUS), hence official members must start of as current NUS students. The first step to your journey with us is to enrol in a semester-long Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) held each semester, with team recruitments happening in January and August each year. The course will involve preparation in Singapore, both technical and physical, for the entire semester, before the actual course trip during the semester vacation, for about three weeks overseas. This mandatory commitment is fundamental as a gateway into the club, and mountaineering in general – many students have come in with a pre-supposed mentality that they can ‘train on their own’ without committing to club training – that is absurd and justifiably unwarranted. After returning from TMCs, members will get to explore the club’s functions and resources to continue their development as mountaineers and climbers, whilst strongly encouraged to also give back to the club at the same time.
Q: Is mountaineering safe?
A: We cannot guarantee your safety but we will take all the necessary steps to make your trip safer. The guides we hire are experienced and have been climbing with us for multiple batches. Training sessions also impart the necessary skills and fitness for you to look after yourself in the mountains. Ultimately, how good and well-prepared you are translates into how safe you will be in the mountains.
Q: Is mountaineering scary?
A: It depends! For some, it may be, but we can work with you to prepare you before your Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC). Some of us in the MIR ExCo have the a fear of heights but we have gradually begun to be accustomed to heights through the course of our training.
Q: [TMC Specific] How often are training sessions?
A: Climbing a mountain will require a base fitness and knowledge of the technical skills required. To aid in your preparation, training will occur 4 times a week – this is akin to most sporting commitments, just that what we’re putting ourselves to is riskier, and more demanding. Our commitments must be aligned to that. Mondays will mostly consist of technical and theory appreciation sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays will include runs and calisthenics training, and Saturdays will consist of loaded hill training at Bukit Timah Hill. More details about our training can be found here.
Q: [TMC Specific] Do I have to go for all training sessions?
A: You will be expected to commit to 80% of the entire training schedule. However, Monday training sessions are compulsory. Of course, case-by-case exceptions will be made for certain reasons, such as examinations.
Q: [TMC Specific] Will training be tough?
A: It will depend on your initial level of fitness, but generally we will start at a lower intensity, and increase the fitness of the overall team through gradual training.
Q: Is mountaineering difficult for girls?
A: It is definitely possible for girls to do mountaineering! We have many girls in MIR, past and present. The training sessions and the mountains do not disadvantage girls. In fact, there have been some girls that have been fitter than the guys!
Q: Is there a steep learning curve?
A: No, the technical lessons are taught progressively. Given your attendance at the lessons, you will have sufficient knowledge and experience before attempting any technical moves, such as ascending or abseiling.
Q: I am an NUS alumni/exchange student. Can I join your trips?
A: If you are an NUS alumni, you are not allowed to be part of TMCs due to the nature of the trip’s organisation insofar we are a student organisation under school purview. Exchange students are welcome. Nonetheless, we welcome you to join on our overseas trips as long as you fulfill our training requirements, which can be found here and here.
Q: [TMC Specific] How many people will be sent for the trip each semester?
A: A team consisting of no more than 12 people will attend a Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) each semester.
Q: [TMC Specific] How long is the TMC course trip?
A: The Technical Mountaineering Course (TMC) trip will take place during the school holidays and will last for about 21 days. Details of the trip can be found here. Do note that this is subject to change based on the jurisdiction of the guides.
Q: [TMC Specific] Where will I be staying during the trek?
A: During most of the trekking phase, you will be staying in tea houses until 3000m in altitude. After 3000m, you will be sleeping in tents at your base camp.
Q: [TMC Specific] How much do the trips cost?
A: Each costs somewhere between SGD $3000-$4000. More details can be found here. The price of your trip is dependent on the equipment that you purchase. As for our Overseas Adventures, they may be cheaper. Prices vary depending on the duration and location.
Q: [TMC Specific] What sort of equipment do I have to purchase?
A: You will have to purchase personal equipment such as your harness and hiking bag, or base layers such as thermals. These cannot be rented for safety and hygiene reasons.
Q: [TMC Specific] How do I join the the TMC?
A: Simply start by heading on down to our training sessions – no obligation for the first week of trainings! Thereafter, if you choose to commit to TMC, attendance-taking and commitment will be required from the second week onwards. We update our schedule weekly.
Q: [TMC Specific] I would like to join your trips, but I already have my own training programme that clashes with yours and it is rigorous. Can I still join?
A: Unfortunately not. We require all participants of our trips to meet the requirements for our training sessions. Joining training sessions is also more than being acquainted with the necessary competencies. The contact time with your teammates is necessary to forge camaraderie, which will prove essential when you are on the trip itself.
Q: [TMC Specific] I cannot make it for trainings! Can I do make-up trainings on my own?
A: Feel free to train on your own if you cannot make it. However, we require all participants of our trips to meet the training attendance requirement of 80%.
Q: I wish to rent your equipment for my own trips. How do I go about doing so?
A: Equipment rental is only available for current MIR members and alumni. Please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our Logistics Director Wei Sheng at 9156 3897. Do note that our stores will have limited equipment during December/May period as these are when our trips are ongoing.