It may have been the lowest, but it was certainly worth the effort. Mount Kosciuszko was easy and fun plus a wonderful way to end my current 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything project.
Only three days after summiting Carstensz Pyramid, I flew to Sydney and then drove to the ski resort village of Thredbo. I found a great place to stay and looked out my window to see a cloud covered mountain side. More than one climber had told me that Kozzy presented a challenge in difficult weather conditions. But when I woke up, I was greeted with clear blue skies!
I took the Kosciuszko Express ski lift up the mountain side and started my walk to the summit. OK, so maybe this was more walking than climbing; but I was happy to be here. I was not alone for much of the hour it took to reach the summit as a group of international students were there,couples enjoying the day and an entire herd of school kids screaming their way up the trail. Everyone was having a great time.
The route is actually on a raised metal boardwalk to protect the fragile tundra given there are over 100,000 visitors a year on Kozzy. It is a huge source of pride for the Australians and rightfully so. The entire area is absolutely beautiful with grass covered mountains surrounding the peak and spindly Snow Gum trees dotting the area. Most of the route was snow free but Kozzy proper was covered with deep snow preventing the normal circular approach so everyone took a somewhat steep direct route to the summit.
As I walked up the snow, my thoughts went to the past 11 months and all my climbs. Also of my purpose. I called Cathy for the 8th time from a remote mountain and we shared in the feeling of accomplishment and commitment to this goal. My audio dispatch was a bit long but I wanted to share several thoughts with all the dedicated followers, donors and supporters. You can listen to it here:
While these climbs may be over, my climbing is not. I have some unfinished business on one for them! Also, I hope to share my experiences of climbing and Alzheimer’s as much as possible and continue sending our message of hope, need and urgency. This disease is not going away. Over 435,000 people in the US alone were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s since I started climbing only 11 months ago.
So this is a milestone, not the start or the end. My deepest appreciation to everyone who made a donation (you can still make one!) and please continue to follow me as I to work to eliminate this disease.
Memories are Everything