SINGAPORE: Building upon their earlier triumphs scaling Mount Everest, two determined Singaporean women have now etched their names in mountaineering history by successfully reaching the summit of K2.
Vincere Zeng, aged 31, and Sim Phei Sunn, aged 47, have shattered gender barriers and become the first women from Singapore to achieve this remarkable feat.
K2, standing tall at 8,611 meters, is situated in the formidable Karakoram mountain range, within the jurisdiction of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Known as the “Savage Mountain,” K2 is infamous for its challenging ascent and unforgiving terrain.
Over the years, around 90 climbers have tragically lost their lives attempting to conquer this treacherous peak since the first expedition in 1954.
On 27 July, Zeng and Sim defied the odds and conquered K2’s summit, demonstrating their exceptional mountaineering prowess.
Their accomplishment takes on an added layer of significance as they are the initial Singaporean women to have accomplished this remarkable feat.
Notably, only two Singaporean men had previously achieved this feat in 2012 and 2014.
The ascent to K2’s peak is plagued with perilous elements such as perilous winds, unpredictable avalanches, and oxygen deprivation due to the extreme altitude.
Negotiating these challenges, Zeng and Sim showed unyielding determination, despite facing adverse conditions including snowfall, fog, and gusty winds that temporarily impeded their ascent.
Zeng, who documented portions of their journey through a photo album on Facebook, shared insights into the grueling climb.
In a post, she emphasized the steepness of the ascent, underscoring that “K2 is just never flat” She also acknowledged the physical toll of the climb, particularly due to the extreme cold and drastic altitude shift.
In a testament to their camaraderie and shared achievement, Zeng recounted the emotional moment when she heard Sim’s voice echoing on the wind during their descent, indicating Sim’s successful summit.
These intrepid women expressed hope that their accomplishment would be a source of pride for Singapore as the nation approached its 58th birthday.
Sim’s mountaineering journey has been complemented by her endurance athleticism spanning two decades, including participation in ultra-marathons.
Her conquest of Mount Everest in May 2019 was a pivotal milestone. On the other hand, Zeng, identified as a “mountaineer, ultra runner, paraglider, and high altitude speed ascent” on her Facebook profile, added this K2 triumph to her earlier successful ascent of Mount Everest merely 70 days prior.
Their achievements parallel those of esteemed mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow, who stands as the first Singaporean man to conquer the world’s three highest peaks: Everest, K2, and Kanchenjunga.