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David Lim’s comeback climb from total paralysis and disability

Located in South America, Aconcagua stands tall in the Andes Mountain range.

David Lim and Tok Beng Cheong summited the highest peak in the American continent on 19 Febuary 2000. This was the second summit attempt, the first was two days earlier which failed because of strong winds. The route they took is known as the Polish Traverse.

David says, “On Aconcagua, you’re on your own, you have to do everything and it’s a harder route than a normal route. And overall, I found it physically harder than any other expedition I’ve done.And to raise the bar for SIngapore climbing, we opted not to use guides, porters, or choose the easiest route”

The duo climbed alpine style, carrying a 25kg load and climbing with no support except for a mule who helped carried food and equipment to the base camp of the mountain. It was a 50km hike across a beautiful terrain and four river crossings before reaching the base camp. In the journey, David has literally worn out a heel-support orthotic for his right foot. David recounts that while he has recovered from his nervous-system disorder, the mountain remains a significant challenge.

For David, Aconcagua, “…is a return to the big mountains of the world …it has given me great confidence for the future in terms of getting back into the business of serious mountaineering.”

Beng Cheong packing food for the final summit attempt.

Having scrambled eggs is a special treat for David, especially after carrying these eggs for over 50km to base camp.

Dave’s orthoses taking a beating on the climb


David with the flag of the Society for the Physically Disabled. A Singaporean charity, the society seeks to provide meaningful lives for the disabled in Singapore.The duo summitted at 530pm, Feb 19th , 2000

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