After several years of preparation, The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything is officially underway. After an incredible launch on November 9th where we potentially reached over 20 million people; it is time to climb.
The first climb is on Antarctica’s highest, the Vinson Massif at 16,067′ or 4897 meters. This will be followed by the highest peak outside the Himalaya, Aconcagua, in January 2010 then Everest and the rest.
This is a brief video with my thoughts as I finish packing today.
The Antarctica weather has been tough already for 2010 with climbers, skiers and South Pole expeditions leaving from Chili all held up in Punta Arenas, Chili. Some have been waiting for almost 2 weeks. The problem is snow and wind at the landing strip on Union Glacier. The irony is that Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), who runs the flights, spent 4 years looking for a more reliable landing strip after decades of using Patriot Hills.
But this is all part of Antarctic travel and you learn to be patient, relaxed and flexible.
I am climbing with Phil Eshler of International Mountain Guides and 6 other climbers. We are one of the first Vinson teams this season. This is the schedule:
Nov 24 Depart home
Day 02 Arrive in Santiago and connect with flights to Punta Arenas, Chile. Night spent at our hotel in Punta Arenas.
Day 03 Final equipment checks and preparations. Night spent in Punta Arenas.
Day 04 Flight to Union Glacier, Antarctica. Approx. 6 hours. Transfer as soon as weather permits to Vinson Base Camp in a twin engine Otter. Camp at Vinson Base. (7,000 ft.)
Day 05 Carry to Camp 1. (9,500 ft.) We cache gear here and descend to Vinson Base for the night.
Day 06 Probable rest day.
Day 07 Move to Camp 1 and set up camp there.
Day 08 Carry to Camp 2 at the col between Vinson and Mt. Shinn. (12,500 ft.) This is the location of our high camp and we leave a cache here and then descend to Camp 1.
Day 09 Probable rest day.
Day 10 Move to Camp 2 and set up our high camp.
Day 11 Weather and health permitting, we will make a summit bid. We will return to Camp 2 for the night.
Day 12 Pack up all gear and descend to Vinson Base Camp. This takes the bulk of the day. We camp here at base camp for the night.
Day 13 Return flight to the Patriot Hills and connect with the transport plane for our return flight to Punta Arenas. Night spent at the hotel.
Day 14 Fly from Punta Arenas to Santiago and connect with flights to the United States.
Day 15 Arrive home.
Day 16 – 20 These are contingency days that will be available to us for weather delays, additional acclimatization days or simply days for more climbing. The schedule gives us a fairly good cushion to deal with any unexpected delays or occurrences.
I will be sending dispatches throughout the climb, weather and technology willing! So check back on this page. You can also sign up for notification of new dispatches through the box in the right sidebar.
Also, thanks to my supporters, Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP) of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc.. Please visit out website for more on the campaign at climb4ad.com.
Memories are Everything