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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CaffeBene exp web bannerWatch this space for updates and dispatches from David Lim's Himalayan Traverse Expedition 2016

Hardly mentioned: I usually mention it only in passing these days, but it’s worth re-looking at what it’s like not having functional lower legs. In particular, not having functioning calves means things you take for granted like walking with a normal stride doesn’t happen for me- so I need to take 10 strides to your 7 to keep up. No front pointing on ice or vertical rock climbing either- the basic ‘ stand on your toes’ functionality is also gone. This basic element also impacts balance, force applied, and the ability to make micro adjustments to daily activities. My right leg also has ‘foot drop’- which means I can’t lift my foot in a normal stride- and that appendage just flops around uselessly. So, the ongoing challenge( helped by Turbomed Orthotics this year) is to get at least the foot drop part helped with their braces. When climbing, it’s often the case if using ‘French-ing”- rotating your foot to maximize crampon contact with ice/snow. There’s a limit to this however, so I choose routes that don’t have slopes beyond a certain steepness. There are lots of other pathologies I won’t go into here, but I haven’t found someone with my condition doing alpine climbing, and no surprise- it’s bloody hard as it is. Oddly, my neurologist thinks it’s probably easier for an amputee to climb than for someone with a foot or more that doesn’t quite work. An amputee can plug In a variety of different prosthetics to climb, run and walk. I am stuck with a dead foot and more. But frankly, most people don’t give a rat’s s**t about anyone else’s disability as it’s really a personal thing- until it happens to them. However, I’d like to think my 18 years of climbing has at least highlighted that we just need some help in creating a more level field for not just people to get back some normalcy but also some space for those ( like me) who want to push the envelope in a world of the ‘abled’. Life can give you lemons. It’s up to you to turn these into lemonade.

GRATITUDE WEEKEND: original climbing project not completed, body aches, blisters and face falling apart from sunburn. But on the road back to Kathmandu, I looked back at these two weeks and here’s what I’m grateful for: 1) my furkids waiting for me when I get home 2) a chance, at 50+ years old, to summit a 6000m peak in a totally stupendously beautiful area 3) a wife who tolerates these 2-3 week adventures, and who holds the furry fort while I am gone 4) all fingers and toes intact 5) the companionship and help of Tamang climbing partners so key in the success of this expedition 6 )lunching on steamed momo’s at a yak pasture at 4000m with a view of the Annapurnas 7) the ability to climb with a disabled leg 8) flush toilets, and hot showers 9) meeting people who seem so happy with so little 10) all your support, kind words and a small opportunity for me to inspire individuals to greater heights in their own lives For all that, and more, I am thankful- Maureen, Grant, MD Shariff, Tan Wang Cheow, Caffe Bene, GNC and Turbomed Orthotics

DO YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK? four days ago, and after months of planning an innovative high altitude mountaineering traverse involving climbing two virgin peaks from the summit of Chulu Far East, we turned back as we thought the snow conditions to be unsafe. Later that night, lying exhausted in my tent, I couldn’t ignore the hard breathing whilst at rest, and a wheezy cough that had developed the same evening. In a short time, I realized I had HAPE- high altitude pulmonary edema, a potentially lethal high altitude medical condition where your lungs fill with liquid leaked from it’s capillaries. I downed my mix of Diamox and Adalat and kept monitoring myself until symptoms eased off at 11pm.I awoke after a surprisingly good sleep with a still rattly cough, but eager to descend quickly ( the best choice for HAPE). Looking back, you always need a little luck with a climb- the weather, the route etc. But much of the luck is about the experience over years in making the right call in situations. Making a nuanced decision- doing the homework on training, nutrition and situational awareness . I have a ‘small’ summit, had bags of fun re-living two decades of climbing with MB Tamang, and came back intact. . Hard to ask for more..once again many thanks to Caffe Bene, GNC and Turbomed Orthotics

Yesterday we travelled 7 hours across rain soaked unmetalled roads to Besisahar, just 70km away. Some pictures here to give you an idea that travel in Nepal isn’t like a Swiss time piece. Rock falls, cave ins etc are common. I saw a total of six workers improving bits of this road, including a pair who were squatting with a hammer and chisel turning big ticks I to matchbox sized pieces- they’re going to take a while! Bright spots was finding wild strawberries on a pee break, having access to some great nut bars from GNC. Today, the reflection of Nepal’s functionality as a working state is a transport ‘bandh’,or ‘closure’, by some drivers’ union, so there go my plans to get to Kathmandu today, and my meetings are up in smoke. Enforcers have stoned vehicles attempting to use the highway. It should be lifted at 6pm. “Kay guarnay’ as they say here’

Manang people: one if the greatest things of an expedition into an ancient place is meeting people- like Kancha, who hailed me in Lower Pisang, who held a chat with me in Malay( having been a precious stones trader with Malaysian businesses in the 1980s) ; two precious babbling infants, and one big German shepherd mutt in Humre– it’s the journey that makes a climb and not just the summit

Here’s the latest update since the one from Ghyaru and Ngawal a week or so ago. We acclimatized at successfully higher camps at Yak Kharka (3975m) and Chulu East BC ( 4880m) before making the final stop at high camp(5361m). On the 22nd, we left for the summit at 4am, with the grand hauling by my Tamang buddies Furba and former 1st Singapore Everest Sirdar MB. We had such good weather leading up to the push, it was inevitable to have it turn for the worse this week. A snow shower on the afternoon and night translated into 6-12 inches up high. Under that was unforgiving hard grey ice- a combination of the worst kind for my disabled leg. After several man-sized crevasses we called ‘man- eaters’, we went to the far right of the summit ridge. It was a disappointing view of our 4 km traverse ridge – plastered in fresh snow. It would not be possible to do our planned traverse safely in those conditions. We made the summit finally at 215pm. It was too small for more than two climbers to be on it at the same time! After which,a long and tiring series of abseils and pitched belays over the crevasses sections took us back. Many thanks to Caffe Bene, Turbomed Orthotics, GNC and my wife, Maureen. More later

Morning sunrise over Annapurna II and III from my lodgings at 530am. Now that’s a view worth getting up early. Today we head up to 4100m for a key part of acclimatization for the summit. We’ll be having some excellent ‘Dutch coffee’ or brewed coffee concentrate from Caffe Bene

Lung workout: short but hard haul up 500 vertical metres to Ghyaru in 2 hours; lunch and then a push to Ngawal, our stop for the day at 3600m.another day in the office

Fabulous views for most of the day hiking up the 500m to Ghyaru and then on to Ngawal at 3600m

Caffe Bene Himalayan Traverse update: Likely to lose mobile connectivity by end of today. Yesterday, we sorted out porter loads to basecamp and our high mountain food. We head up to Ngawal (3650m) today. Breakfasting on eggs and a buckwheat pancake. Tactically, we’ll be acclimatising for two days higher up around 4100m, and two at 4800m, plus one night at 5300m. Health and weather permitting, summit day is likely to be on the 21st or 22nd, followed by the two day traverse and climb. Furba and MB Tamang, my climbing partners are in good shape. The low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal seems to be easing off this week, so fingers crossed for good , clear weather

ROUGH ROADS: took 7.5 hours to ride a fully laden Indian-made jeep to Pisang. The new road across the Marshyangdi river will change life here as Trekkers change trails to avoid it.. But it takes five days off what you used to have to walk. After Bhratang, you can see the enormous 1500m sweep of glacial carved rock face at Paungda Danda- rock climbers dream . Made it to Pisang at 3100m. Bonus- made a new furry friend at lunch and wished I could bring him home!

Long hot drive to Besisahar today. A quick view of our lunch stop, standard Nepali lunch ‘dhal Bhat’ tarkari- spiced lentils with rice and veggie/ meat sides, and a selfie with MB Tamang, my longstanding Nepali climbing partner on five 8000- metre peak expeditions and more…

Yesterday in Kathmandu, May 13: Liz Hawley has been the best-known chronicler of Himalayan expeditions for over four decades. She is respected by the international mountaineering community because of her complete and accurate records, despite their unofficial status. She has no patience with fools and has had world class climbers quivering under her ‘grilling’ and questions if they provided vague or inaccurate information about a climb. Some have had reputations dented when she had listed their summit as ‘disputed’. Having been interviewed by her on numerous occasions since 1996, it was good to drop in to pay a courtesy call. She’s stopped zipping around her ancient blue VW Beetle for some years now, and has retired, letting Billly Bierling take over the tracking of 100s of expeditions each year that climb in Nepal. She looks quite frail now, at 92, but still sharp as a razor – amazingly, I saw a copy of my book Mountain to Climb on her bookshelf! Gifted to her in 2001.

Tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to do a high altitude mountaineering traverse expedition. Weather and health permitting, I’ll be climbing up Chulu Far East(6059m) and then doing a first ever 4km traverse of the Kang La ridge; hopefully ascending two viegin 5800- high peaks. Thanks to all my partners; From my wife, Maureen who’s been tolerating these adventures that make me feel alive- to Turbomed for their great Orthotics, GNC for their sports nutrition, and Caffe Bene , my expedition title sponsors – Feel free, live free!

Today’s briefing at Caffe Bene’s sole Singapore branch