The number of high-altitude mountaineers in Singapore is small. This is not a sport like any other; extensive and expensive training is needed to pursue it beyond the popular lower trekking peaks. Robert's love of the sport led him to devise a scheme to enlarge the pool of mountaineers here.

Make It Real Student Mountaineering Programme

In 2001, he initiated a student mountaineering programme at the National University of Singapore. Known as the Make It Real (MIR) Programme, it trains a team of undergraduates in high-altitude climbing. Now in its sixth year, the programme has nurtured 80 young climbers. MIR members have climbed in New Zealand, India, China and Nepal. Many continue to climb after graduation.

Robert with budding Himalayan mountaineers, 2001.

Make it Real mountaineering programme.

NUS Centennial Everest Expedition

In late 2002, Robert was asked to train and guide a team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) to climb Everest in 2005 to celebrate the university's centennial. The three-year preparation resulted in three NUS members reaching Everest's summit, one of whom became the first Singaporean Everest summitter.

NUS Everest Team with President Nathan, 2005.

NUS Everest Team on the summit of
Cho Oyu, 2004.

Stephen Chow EFung of the NUS
Everest Team on the summit of
Everest, 2005.

Singapore Women Everest Team

In 2005-06, Robert and his team directed the Singapore Women Everest team in an expedition to Mustagh Ata (7,546m), which put five climbers on the summit.

Singapore Women's Everest Team on Mustagh Ata, 2006.

Copyright ©2006. 29,000ft. All rights reserved.