Conquering Great Heights

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View of Mount Everest and Everest Base Camp from Kala Patthar (Image courtesy Ace Adventure)

All-women’s team to Everest base camp come home triumphant

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”
– Sir Edmund Hillary (1919–2008)

In conjunction with International Women’s Day on 8 March this year, five brave women from Singapore’s Ace Adventure Expeditions went on a trekking adventure – and not just for a good challenge, but to raise funds for a good cause.

The Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek, held from 13–30 March 2016, was led by Joanne Soo, one of the partners of Ace Adventure Expeditions who was also part of Singapore’s first all-women’s team to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2009. The EBC stands at 5,380 metres and is the most popular trekking activity in the Himalayas.

“EBC was the farthest thing from my mind until Ace Adventure Expeditions announced the 2016 International Women’s Day Challenge to encourage more women to trek, mountain climb, appreciate the outdoors and to raise funds for Zonta Singapore’s Project Pari, benefitting underprivileged teenage girls,” said Ms Dominique Low, who was one of the five women who scaled the heights.

left Dominique Low, second from right, was part of the five-woman trek team led by Joanne Soo (far left) (Image courtesy Ace Adventure)

“EBC sounded intimidating, and the word ‘Everest’ has this effect of either scaring the wits out of you or making you really curious. So of course, I signed up!” Dominique confessed.

The EBC trek saw more than 120 kilometres of seemingly endless rocky terrain, steep ascents, tricky descents, suspension bridges over deep gorges, huge sandstorms, snow and plenty of four-legged traffic who owned the right of way – mules, yaks, jopkyos (a cross between a yak and a cow). But Dominique took it all in her stride.

“It was the perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day,” she said. “This was a tough expedition and I wasn’t sure I could complete it. But somewhere along the way, while experiencing the Sherpas’ warm hospitality and getting to know our guides Finjo and Roshan, and being surrounded by jaw-dropping picturesque landscapes, I knew I’d find the strength to reach my destination. And I did.”

www.aceadventure.com.sg

For more stories and photos, check out Asian Geographic Issue 118.

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