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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11 Jul 2003, 6:58pm Singapore time.
Just returned from acclimatisation. We climbed to just below 4,700m near Pashtukov Rocks before returning. All of us, Grant, our Russian guide, Rudolf, and me, felt great about today’s efforts. The weather looks good. We will make an attempt tonight for the summit, a day earlier than planned. We will begin our ascent at 2am… It would take at least 6 hours to summit. For now, its rest, tea, a bit of that black bread and some soup… Dave

11 Jul 2003, 10am Singapore time
We have reached 4,200m. Living on a patch of ice for the next 2 nights before we make a summit attempt. Hope to make it to the top by 13Jul. We have been having pretty nasty weather over the last 3 days…. Dave

9 Jul 2003, 7:58pm Singapore time
Just found an internet terminal ( 2 months old ) near my hotel. Primitive and slow but it works.

It’s been raining for 2 days and we have been having some cold and wet acclimatisation. We just spent 2 nights at about 3000m up the Jankom glacier near the Adyl-Su peaks; about 15km from where I am based in the Baksan valley. Some interesting snow trekking and just keeping dry was a challenge!

Elbruz has just had a plastering of 30 cm of snow and we are spending (maybe) a day to wait for better weather. Folks are bailing from the area although I am sure some will tough it out if they are on a tight schedule
A possible schedule for us:
Jul 10 – Rest at Baksan valley
11 Summit push to 4300m, near the Garabashi/Diesel Huts
12 Acclimatisation hike to Pashtukov rocks 4800m
13 Rest day
14 Summit day
We have the 15 and 16 as spare days.

So far, all is well although Russian security and related checks are irksome and an eyeopener to travelling in this varied and fascinating country.

Food is typically Russian – creamy salads, sour cabbage, meat ( and more meat ) and lunch today had some stewed veal on offer. Great black bread… Dave

8 Jul 2003, 3:25pm Singapore time
The skies just cleared after a day of rain and wind. It has been a nasty day… gusty winds. We did some trekking on a nearby glacier. Good fun except for the stinging winds. Will spend the night here at 2,859m. Next, we will go down to the village for a bit of rest and resupply before we make our summit attempt of Elbrus. We plan to make the attempt on 9Jul (Elbrus time), the push will take about 4 days in all. For now we are well and feeling good, a bit wet though… Dave

7 Jul 2003 9pm Singapore time
Woke up to a wet and grey day. We did some hiking around Adyl-su Valley. Crappy weather all round but we did managed to do some good amount of walking. Had a bit of mis-communication with our guide, he thought that we had brought food for him when we had only brought enough for two…. so now, we have to share our grub between three persons. Feeling a bit peckish!! We hope to make a summit attempt on 9/10 Jul, hopefully the weather clears up by then. For now we sleep at 2,859m…. Dave

6 Jul 4.30pm Singapore time
We have reached the Baksan Valley. Looking at Elbrus right now. It’s big! Patches of ice on its side. We will begin acclimatisation tomorrow, For now, rest and a bit of stretching after the travelling to get here. It was an eventful journey. Yin Chew lost her passport in Bangkok during our transit there. Only discovered this in Moscow. The officers here were not helpful and refused to provide a new visa for Yin Chew. She was refused entry and had to return.
The weather is good. Very hot here in the valley…. Dave

June 30: The bags are being packed and mountain food stashed for the Elbrus trip. Climbing Elbrus should be logistically easier than the Mexico volcanoes ( see left ) but few Russians in those areas speak English – so it should be an interesting cultural experience climbing in the Caucases. Dispatches from Russia will be more sporadic as a full SATCOMs rig will not be used, so don’t expect too much!


Grant Rawlinson on the summit in 80km/h winds David Lim on the summit in 80km/h winds. East summit in the background Team Elbrus after the summit. L to R: Rudolf Rother, David Lim, Grant Rawlinson. The main summit is the cone on the left.
Dave slogging up the final steep slopes to the summit plateau. the traverse to the west ( main ) summit is below in shadow Traverse from the base of the East summit cone to the main summit cone. Main summit area is in the sunlight Shadow of the main summit, 630am, summit day on Elbrus
David at the campsite at the Adyl -Su glaciers. 3000m . Jul 8.

Back to Elbrus 2003



14Jul 2003

Summit Day (12Jul) :
Rudolf Rother, Grant Rawlinson and myself got up at 2.30am and made our way up the icy slopes to the Pashthukov Rocks (as did about 20 other people in various groups). The average angle of the slopes were between 35 – 45 degrees. It got windy almost immediately once we were above the Rocks (4,700m) and lasted throughout the traverse around the base of Elbruz East (5,621m). The yellow moon sulkily slunk off a dull red at about 5am and it took a while for the sun to get up’ casting a huge shadow of Elbrus on the Caucasian plains below.

We rested a bit before the final steep 200m ascent up to the summit plateau. This was the toughest part of all. To be frank, we should have acclimatised for another day at our 4,300m camp. But the very changeable weather demanded a swift move. The summit was windy – 80km/h at least and people barely able to stand. Summitted at just before 9am and returned at about 1pm.

Seems we made the right move since all night on the 12th, we were buffetted by gale force winds and about 6 inches of windblown snow. The foul weather chased us all the way back down on the 13th

We’re now enjoying shashliks and beers in the valley. We have heaps of time left and will do some exploratory treks in the Elbrus are before we fly back to Moscow and then Singapore on the 18th; arriving on the 19th

David and the South Col Adventures team

12 Jul 2003, 515pm Singapore time
We reached the summit of Elbrus, 5,642m just before 9am. Started the climb at 2am. The winds were strong and a bit nippy… much of the route up was snow covered, crusty with a bit of crunch!! (stomach talking). We are all OK, feeling great about the climb but very tired. Looking up the mountain, we see clouds coming in. Looks like more wind and snow over the next few days. Good thing we made the summit attempt today. We are down, back at camp… resting, drinking and resting…Dave

LEFT: Elbrus from space (NASA photo) showing the summit (the west peak at 5642m) and the slightly lower east summit.





LEFT: The normal route up Mt Elbrus follows the Baksan valley route up to the old cable cars.

A trail beyond that snakes up to various alpine shelters or huts in the 3600 – 4000m range.

Beyond this, the South Col Adventures team will place a high camp above the Pashtukhov rocks at about 4800m before making an attempt on the summit.

The ascent will be preceded by acclimatisation treks. Elbrus is a straightforward glacier climb with slopes not usually exceeding 45 degrees.

Altitude and strong winds are the main challenges.

Mt Elbrus is an extinct volcanic cone situated just north of the main Caucasus range. It has the twin summits, is glaciated, and the highest point in Europe, depending on whether or not you agree anything west of the Urals is Europe!.

Elbrus lies in the Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Its east summit was first climbed by the Kabardinian Killar Khashirov in 1829, who was employed as a guide by a Russian army scientific expedition.

The west (true) summit, was ascended in 1874 by a Balkarian guide, Akhia Sottaiev, who climbed with the team of Gardner, Grove,Walker and Knubel.
1 – 3 Singapore-Moscow-Minerale Vody
4 – Baksan Valley
5- 7 Acclimatisation hikes up to Cheget, the Garabashi/ Diesel Huts
8 Rest day in valley
9 – 10 Summit push to Diesel Hut and then high camp above Pashtukhov Rocks
11-12 Summit and spare day


David Lim and Ming Nuru Sherpa; summit of Paldor Peak, Ganesh Himal, Nepal. June 1st 1993. Picture taken by Tan Tien Chye. Paldor Peak, 5928m, was David’s and Tan’s first Himalayan peak. Together with Ming Nuru, they climbed Pema Peak (5300m) and Paldor. Paldor was climbed by the Cleare-Howell Route; well into the monsoon season.

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