Past Expeditions

Welcome to David Lim's website on Singapore mountaineering expeditions to Everest, Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Salar de Uyuni, climbing virgin peaks, and the greater Himalayas. Scroll down for information , dispatches and pictures.

Caffe Bene Himalayan Traverse Expedition 2016 in Nepal
Kinabalu One-day ascent , 23 August 2013. David makes the first 1-day mobility-impaired climb of Borneo's summit
Qinghai Virgin Peaks Expedition 2012: Tackling 6000m virgin peaks in the Tanggulashan area of Qinghai, China
1st Singapore Everest Expedition: online dispatches of the landmark 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition, led by David Lim
Aconcagua 2000: David Lim and Tok Beng Cheong tackle the Polish Traverse in Feb 2000, as part of David's comeback climb from disability
Tien Shan Expedition 2000: David and members of the 2001 Everest Expedition lead and trained a team of novices in the first ever Singapore expedit...
Ojos Del Salado - Chile 2001: The Everest 2001 Expedition’s major warm-up climb prior to the Everest climb in 2001.
Singapore-Latin American Everest Expedition 2001: A climb on the North Rodge of Mt Everest, led by David Lim
Climbing the fabled Mount Ararat in 2001: ” I was fascinated by the tale of Noah’s Ark since I was a kid. In 1986 I took the opportunity to tra...
Ascent 8000: Expedition to Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, two 8000m peaks in 2002 by disabled Singaporean mountaineer David Lim
Alpine Rock in Borneo -2010:Why We Need Heroes: Climbing with Borneo alpine rock with Sir Chris Bonington, the legendary British mountaineer.
Extreme Desert Crossing 2007:David and Shani make the 5th ever recorded crossing on foot of the Salar de Uyuni
The “Spirit of Singapore Expedition 2009”, makes 3 virgin peak ascents including the tough peak later named Majulah Peak
Iran Expedition 2006: Multi-peak ascents in Alam-Kooh, and a climb of the long north ridge of Damavand in the Alborz peaks.
Ojos del Salado 2005: The highest volcano in the world --"Of my many adventures and climbs worldwide, there are a few which taught me the lesson t...
Nike Timing Mt. Fuji Climb 2004: David, Ting Sern and Masaharu make an attempt on Mt Fuji in the winter from the Yoshida trailhead.
Mountain of the Star Expedition 2003: An all-disabled mountaineers’ ascent of Pico de Orizaba, 5700m, Mexico’s highest peak and North America...
Maccoffee Tienshan Virgin Peaks Expedition: David leads his team to make the first virgin peak ascents by a Southeast Asian expedition. The team cl...
Kilimanjaro 2011: David Lim returns to Kilimanjaro to climb it from the Rongai Route.
Elbrus 2003: Climbing highest summit of Europe - in 2003. David teams up with Grant and Rudolf in Russia...
Kilimanjaro Challenge 2004: Four disabled mountaineers atempt a remote route on the northern icefields of Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m), the summit of ...

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Partially disabled in both legs since 1998 from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, David’s passion for high places remains unquenched. Keep track of the adventures of Singapore’s most prolific high-altitude mountaineer, leadership coach, author and motivational speaker through this site. David’s perspective: ” Once I knew that life would not be the same again after my disabilities, I wanted to push the envelope – to see what a partially disabled climber can do,  with minimal support. If you’re keen on following my adventures, stay tuned, and thanks for visiting.”

Since 1999, David has delivered more than 600 motivational keynotes and team improvement solutions in 32 countries and 73 cities, and is the first Singaporean to earn professional speaking’s highest credential, the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. Find outmore about his leadership programmes and presentations at:

CaffeBene exp web banner

CAFFE BENE HIMALAYAN TRAVERSE 2016: Full details upon the expedition launch on May 10, 2016.  This will be an exciting multi-day, 4km long high altitude expedition traverse, emcompassing two virgin peaks in Central West Nepal in Spring 2016. Our title sponsor is none other than the largest Korean coffeehouse chain, Caffe Bene; famous for their coffee and ‘bingsu’ desserts and more. We are aligned with their aim to make their customers Feel Free- Live Free!  NEW/UPDATES: ( Go to the expedition page from May 10, 2016).Read More here


“Mountaineering guru David Lim on the complex dynamics of relying on sherpas when you climb: – article headline in TODAY’s 21 April 2016 edition; featuring my interview about the changing dynamic in Nepal’s sherpa community, and in conjucntion with DISCOVERY Channel’s award winning documentary ” SHERPA” – telling their stories and challenges.

Happy to announce our Official Sports Nutritional partner for the expedition – GNC! GNC has been a regular partner for several of my past expeditions inlcuding the 2012  Qinghai Virgin Peaks Expedition . Thank you ONI Global for your support. Their supports includes their excellent 100% whey protein powders, GNC multi-vitamin support.

Turbomed FS3000 AFO    Feb 7, 2016 : THE NEW ‘LEG’: received possibly Singapore’s first Turbomed Orthotics FS 3000 ankle foot brace. Tested it out on several staircase climbing laps on Friday and a jungle stroll yesterday. Having tried seven different AFOs since 1998, I ‘d say these are the most robust ones I have tried.Thanks to their sponsorship, I’m well on my way to devising my optimal climbing system. Happy to help anyone else with lower leg disabilities figure out the best solution for them. Part of the journey to any expedition is the blending of the new and the old – from workouts to equipment.These past few months have seen some radical shifts in the kind of sleep systems I am used to, not to mention a new training programme for the Himalayan Traverse this Spring in Nepal!- See more HERE

Sleeping Systems on a budget revisited:

Expedition 2016  preparation continues.

Instead of spending $800++ on a new 1.4kg four season bag, I’ve created a highly modular system using my decade-old Mountainsmith,  1kg -7º degree bag, and layering it with a China-made, 800-fill down quilt (400gm) – about $150. Most non-climbers just dont know how much thinking needs to go into a sleep system that works in extreme cold and one which you (yes, you, not a porter!) carry.

Quilts are gaining favour as ultra light gear and can be used as a blanket, partially closed up or fully closed up but for the back area (which is normally squashed down/insulation and useless anyway). Pair this with a UL eggshell mat (also a $15, no-brand China made item at 350gms), and a R5 rated inflatable ($75)  from JR gear. You can search and review many of these China brand soft goods on ( the retail version of Alibaba) . You can form combinations of these four pieces to prep for anything from an alpine climbing sort of trip all the way up to a -15ºC expedition climate. Total weight: 2.2kgs – way lighter than a trad set up. I could shave off more by cutting the foam mat to a 3/4 length one too. The lightest combo would be 750grams and allow me to sleep in temps down to zero degrees. I’ll be updating the site as preparation for this year’s climb continues.


Risk and Adventure: Not Child’s Play -Opinion piece from The Sunday Times, June 28th 2015 risk and adventure 28.6.2015 sundaytimes

Kinabalu in A Day: Aug 22 – 25, 2013 Click the link above to go to reports and updates on  the first Mobility Impaired 1-day ascent of Mt Kinabalu from Timpohan Gate 91866m) to the 4095m summit, Low’ sPeak. Watch  a short clip of David’s training, ascent and summit on August 23rd 2013 here. Above: The Sunday Times news article from Aug 24, 2013

Adventures and Lessons from the Mountains of Bhutan

7 days of driving snow and rain with just 2 days of nice weather!

7 days of driving snow and rain with just 2 days of nice weather!

Just recently, I was privileged to visit the mountains of Bhutan. As it would take far too long to walk; and unlike the mystical Guru Rinpoche, who rode a magical flying tigress; I had to fly by DrukAir, the nation’s national carrier. …… To learn what I learnt on the 10-day classic Chomolhari Trek, continue reading the story here







A View to Die For?

Over 150 climbers creating a dangerous traffic jam high on Everest - photo courtesy of Ralf Dujmovits

Over 150 climbers creating a dangerous traffic jam high on Everest – photo courtesy of Ralf Dujmovits

Reprinted with permission by The Sunday Times, Singapore, June 3, 2012
By David Lim

About 300 climbers on Mount Everest forming a long queue as they trek towards their ultimate goal of reaching the summit. Because there are only a few small windows of four to five days during the spring when climbers can reach the top in relatively good weather, the rush of mountaineers in these periods creates huge jams at bottleneck areas along the route, leading to people suffering from frostbite and other cold-related injuries while waiting. — PHOTO COURTESY OF RALF DUJMOVITS

Mount Everest is turning into a circus of danger as hundreds of climbers – including the ill-prepared – join the rush to the summit.
- See more at:

2 Responses to David Lim, Mountaineer, Motivational Speaker-Expedition Base Camp

  • Morgan Victor says:

    Dear Mr. David Lim,

    My name is Morgan, and I am a budding Singaporean climber. I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and there are a few key messages that resonate with me.

    Namely from your 2009 Straits Times article, “The media has also often taken few pains to educate itself on the sport of mountaineering. Until it educates its reporters that mountaineering excellence has never been defined by an ascent of Everest alone, the sport is truly doomed. Our busy and time-starved public will never be able to fathom anything in mountaineering other then “Everest-ing”.

    I strongly share many of your views and would like to share with you my account of summitting Iraq’s highest mountain last week. The summit was of Mount Halgurd (3607m), in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in Iraq’s North. Iraqi-Kurdistan is a safe and stable region with a pronounced difference in security from the rest of federal Iraq. It none the less remains a region where few foreigners have ventured to, and wherein lies many virgin peaks.

    Last Thursday’s summit (9th May) was made by an International team of 4 British Citizens, Myself, and a Kurdish team member who was also our local translator. There lies a mountain to the North of Halgurd called Cheekar-Dar which stands at 3611m. But because it lies on the border of Iran, it is forbidden to be climbed for political reasons. The Kurds for the most part view it as a disputed mountain, and have historically always viewed Halgurd as their highest peak.

    As far as we know from local sources, the mountain has never been summitted in Winter conditions either. We made the first Winter summit of Halgurd. It was a true pioneering expedition in every sense of the word, in the true spirit of adventure. We spent days having to forge a route up the mountain, sometimes having to negotiate live minefields on the mountain, left behind from the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. We were interviewed by local Kurdish tv and appeared on the news that night!

    We witnessed two avalanches, one of which posed a direct threat to my safety on our first summit attempt which we aborted. Wolves, and unaccounted gunfire at night on the mountain also added to some of our concerns at the time.

    This has been a long seven month journey for me. It involved independent research, planning and funding with no external help. It also involved having to spend months establishing my own local contacts in Kurdistan to help me gain entry into the somewhat tightly regulated region. I was even denied boarding my flight from Dubai to Erbil and spent the most stressful 48 hours in my life dealing with airport staff. I finally managed to catch the last flight into Kurdistan for the week, with only 30 minutes to go until take off.

    There were so many points of my trip where the entire plan could have fallen through. But I believe that this is the kind of risk taking you seem to speak about. Where the journey can be often tumultuous and precarious. But it is all worth it, because I know that it was an extremely rocky road, just getting to the mountain alone, and one which could have cost me a dream of futhur mountaineering above all.

    I would very much like to share a photo with you of our very own red and white flying on the summit of Iraq’s highest accessible mountain. Please do share your email address with me! (:

    I was also wondering, if I could write an article which perhaps you may like to publish on your website, about the entire Halgurd experience and what it is like to climb and trek in the Zagros Mountain range.

    Here is also a link to my expedition facebook page.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Morgan Victor

    • David says:

      Hi Morgan – it’s be great to get a photo of the peak from some distance, as well as of you and the team. COngratulations for an off-the-beaten-track ascent. Truly an adventurous trip