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I couldn’t have made so many successful climbs without the advice, help and companionship of some of my best friends and counsellors. Below are some new friends, old friends and some good people who aren’t around anymore. Since 1999, I’ve decided to only climb with people who share my beliefs about climbing and people who work on making the trip a good one for everyone rather than just focusing on their own summit ambitions.

The late alpinist Roger Baxter-Jones said that the three most important things about a mountaineering trip are ” come back alive, come back friends and get to the top – in that order of importance “. I believe in that.

Safe Climbing!

David Lim


Rock-climbing for the Disabled ( Nov 2001 ) : As part of ASCENT 8000′s activities in Singapore, I am organising rock-climbing clinics to bring this great sport to the disabled. Just the sight of the smiles on the faces of some of the participants makes it all worthwhile. I have seen people in terrified prayer before their turn – and then be encouraged by their cheers later. Other activities include motivational talks at schools for 2001/2001



Right: Tok Beng Cheong aka ” Wilfred” – like me, he has a foundation of alpine climbs in the French and Swiss Alps. When he teamed up with me for Aconcagua in 2000, he knew he was having on board a real ” pai kar” ( Hokkien dialect for ” bad leg ” ) person. But his strength and patience helped make the climb, the first all-Singapore ascent of Aconcagua, a success. He works as a student office in Singapore Polytechnic and is planning on a return to technical alpine climbs.


Left: Alan Silva and Justin Lean having fun at Hindhede Quarry, c.1994. Both these great guys were part of my climbing life as we scratched our way up Singapore rock climbs in the ‘ 90s. Justin was a key guy and biggest team player of the Everest expedition 94-98


L to R: Jan Arnold, Justin Lean, Rob Hall and me;


Hindhede Quarry, Sep 1994
New Zealand guide Rob Hall and his wife Jan in Singapore in 1994. Rob provided great insights into organising Everest expeditions. A stop at Christchurch after each climb in the NZ Alps wouldn’t be complete without a meal with Rob. Tragically, he died Everest in May 1996 together with his client near the South Summit. Hanging out almost every weekend in the climbing quarries was part of my life before I became disabled in 1999. I established a few interesting new routes between 1991 and 1994.


Ming Nuru Sherpa and Man Bahadur Tamang on the summit of Putha Hiunchuli ( 7246m ), Sep 1996 in Nepal. I learned many lessons about kindness from these two friends of mine. MB was to later become the ” sirdar” or head sherpa for my expedition to Everest in 1998. Ming Nuru has moved to marketing for his trekking agency in Kathmandu


Left: Mohamed Rozani in India, 1995

Right: Gil Piekarz in Tibet, 2001


Rozani ( Roz ) and Gil were just 50 vertical metres from the 7950m camp on Everest’s North Ridge in May 2001 when they turned back on our summit push. I was very tired at about 7700m and frostnipped from galeforce winds and had decided to descend. These two guys gave up their summit chance, caught up with me on the descent and made sure I was OK. What a great team. Gil’s back in Curitiba, Brazil working as a geologist and Roz has quit repairing Ferraris for someone else and has started out on his own as a service technician


Left: Alan Silva on the summit rocks going up to Mt Cook’s summit, Feb 1995. I was to complete the classic Zurbriggen’s Ridge on Mt Cook, New Zealand with Alan. At 1300 vertical metres and 1000m of steep 55degree water ice, it was the hardest ‘problem’ I’d done. For Alan – just another day’s climb!

Alan was also on my summit team when we summitted Cho Oyu ( 8201m ) in 1997

Alan’s comeback to Singapore after several years away and works as an aircraft engineer.


Left: Edwin ” Ultraman “Siew on the summit of Mount Everest, 630am, May 25th, 1998. Edwin was one of the youngest and least experienced of our team but he was a great team player and everything worked out for him in the end as he became the first Singapore climber to summit the Big Hill . In 2000, he trekked with an all-Singapore team to the South Pole. He still works for Outward Bound Singapore.


Left: Picture from the 1996 Kinabalu climb. Peter Terbush grew up as a teenager in Singapore and was part of my climbing circle. A fearless climber and a good friend also of Justin and Scotty ( see above ), Peter climbed Jogin I, a 6000m peak in India in 1995 with Justin before leaving to further his studies in 1997 in the USA.

Peter was killed in a huge rockfall on Glacier Apron, Yosemite Valley in June 1999. He was belaying his partner but held his position instead of running away, almost certainly saving his friend’s life.

Peter was 21.


Scotty Nelson and me, c. 1999, Singapore
Scotty also grew up as a teenager on Singapore’s puny rock climbs but has sinced moved to bigger rock, having climbed the Shield, the Nose on El Capitan and some really humongous climbs in Yosemite.

The love of my life, Maureen – who wants me to come back from any climb as quickly as possible. This is hard, as you can imagine, if the climb needs a month or more to complete!


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