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  Solo Expedition by Mountaineer: Everest climber David Lim: I will to try for the summit again

0645hrs Jan 20 (Singapore), 2005
Sitting around alone does strange things to a person. I think I am the only living human being sitting on a rock on this side of the mountain. The silence is deafening. Last nite, I contemplated trying for the summit again. Slept on the idea. The sun came up this morning. Weather looks better, and although it snowed lightly, it's sunny so I guess it'll be sunny tomorrow too.

I have rested well and feel fit. I will to try for the summit again, starting off early at 3am (3pm Singapore time today). It is a much better option than sitting around waiting for my mule.
:) Dave

0625hrs Jan 19 (Singapore), 2005: Started climbing at about 4am in the dark alone. There was a lot of soft snow that fell during the night. The conditions were not good for a long day of climbing. The trail was barely visible in the soft light of my headlamp. As I was the only person on the mountain, I had to break a trail through the soft snow. It was hard work. I went up till about 6500m, just a under 300m away from the summit. Howling winds and even more soft snow made it very difficult to move ahead. It was a hard climb. I turned back, with the summit just round the corner.

I will not attempt to summit again. Ojos proved to be a difficult climb but good climb. It has been very challenging and it has pushed me to my limits. The physical challenge was tough and the task of climbing alpine style alone requires a lot of mental discipline. Right now, I am alone on the mountain. Coming from Singapore where noise is all around, the "vast quietness" can be overwhelming. I definitely miss talking. Even the mule is somewhere down the mountain.

I will be packing up after a nite's sleep and move down to the lower camp. The mule and the driver will only be coming back in 2 days time to pick my stuff. This gives me time to climb a small peak.
:) Dave

Jan 18 (Singapore), 2005: Basecamp Ojos looks much like a transit site. Climbers hang out, waiting for the right time to climb. But of course, your guess is as good as mine. Weather patterns on any big mountain is at best unpredictable. It kinda creates its own weather. Right now, we are getting blue skies and great climbing weather. I am planning to make a summit attempt tomorrow. Eating well and will begin ascent at night. I will climb alpine style, with everything I need on my back. To keep the load to a reasonable level, everything I carry is absolutely necessary. Am checking my equipment and rations again. It pays to be careful and discipline on any mountain. :) Dave

Previous Dispatches

In January 2005, veteran mountaineer, Everest expedition leader, and corporate motivator David Lim will make a solo expedition to climb the remote peak of Ojos Del Salado in Argentina.

At 6882m, " Ojos" is the world's highest volcano, and the 2nd highest peak in the Americas. Ojos is located in the driest desert on this planet, the Atacama Desert, and lies on the Chilean-Argentinian border. The expedition will be from Jan 4 - 28

The expedition╣s aims include demonstrating that being disabled does not necessarily mean unable.  And if successful, this will be the  first time this peak is soloed by any Asian mountaineer.

David has been partially disabled since 1998 from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and has paralysis below the right knee and left leg.

No climber from Singapore has ever attempted a solo expedition of a major mountaineering objective. In an age where the challenge of adventure has been lessened by all kinds of expedition aids such as support vessels, aircraft, air-drops of supplies, porters, professional guides, the Ojos Del Salado 2005 climb will be a move back to  the essence of climbing: self-sufficiency, uncertainty of outcomes, and calculated risk-taking

Dave Lim, Everest Climber, author and motivational speaker. To book David e-mail
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