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Disabled Duo in Double Peak Ascent

Mountain of the Star Expedition is first of its kind for disabled Asian climbers

Singapore ­ Partially disabled Singapore mountaineers, David Lim and Wong Ting Sern, will attempt the ascent of Mexico's highest mountain, 5700m El Pico de Orizaba (Mountain of the Star), in March 2003. A dormant, ice-capped volcano, Orizaba is also the third highest mountain in all of North America. The team will face extreme challenges such as strong winds, climbing on sheets of steep ice and coping with high altitude, all without any external assistance.

Wong has been climbing since the 1980s and has completed ascents on Denali (1982), Mount Foraker- Infinite Spur, Khatung Kang (Nepal) and the northwest ridge of Cholatse. Lm has over 40 alpine and Himalayan ascents including summits of Dhaulagiri VII (7246m) in Nepal, Cho Oyu (8201m) in Tibet, Mt Cook (via Zurbriggen's Ridge) the north west face of the Grand Combin (Swiss Alps). Since being rendered partially disabled, he has completed climbs such as an alpine-style climb of Aconcagua's Polish Traverse route and lightweight attempts on Shishapangma and Cho Oyu.

Lim, SingaporeΉs first professional mountaineer, suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in 1998 after leading SingaporeΉs first Everest expedition. He is now partially disabled in his left hand and both legs. His partner on this ascent, Wong, is partially disabled from infant cerebral palsy and affected by loss of hearing, a speech impediment and balance problems.

In preparation for this climb, the team will attempt Iztaccihuatl or La Malinche, both in Mexico, at the end of February 2003. Typically, mountaineering ascents by climbers with disabilities are carried out with significant support from able-bodied partners and guides. Proving that disabilities do not hold people back, Lim and Wong will climb without support such as professional guides, porters, airdrops or similar aid, making the Mountain of the Star expedition the first of its kind by disabled Asian mountaineers.

Through this expedition, the team hopes to raise awareness of disability issues and the importance of disability sport. The team will be assisting the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) in raising money for a new van.

In addition, the team will be using the expedition as an educational tool, working with Singapore schools to provide assistance in school projects and helping students gain a better understanding of social, geographical and cultural issues.

Educational and Fund-Raising Project

Working with schools is part of David LimΉs ongoing efforts to inspire students with lessons on overcoming disabilities, as well as to educate them on the importance of disability needs in society. Four schools will be participating in Orizaba 2003Ήs educational and fund-raising projects: … Sengkang Secondary School … Marsiling Secondary School … CHIJ Kellock … Henry Park Primary School

Updates

David Lim veteran climber, author and motivational speaker. To book David Lim e-mail everestnews2004@adelphia.net

 

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