Well time has come to stop posting and to start climbing! First I wish all a happy Dashain.
Kami and I leave Tomorrow 19 Oct for Island Peak. The summit is on the ridge far behind the face as shown in the pictures.
Today we did our final acclimatization hike to Chungkung Ri, about 17,700’ more or less. We were rewarded with clear, sharp views of Cho Oyu, Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse, Peak 38, Island Peak, Makalu and of course, Ama Dablam. they were stunning.
The weather forecast hasn’t changed a lot so we are expecting sub 0F wind chills and will be prepared for worse. If it’s too bad, we will simply turn back. It’s really that simple.
The schedule is to hike to base camp after breakfast Friday. Take the afternoon to relax and go to bed early. We will leave BC around 1 or 2 am crossing a long rocky area until we reach Crampon Point, where we, umm well, we out on our crampons!
Crossing the glacier in the dark, and coldest time of the climb will be mentally challenging. Finally we’ll reach the base of the 2,000’ head wall. This snow and ice covered hillside ranges from 10 to 45 degrees and has a fixed line for safety. I expect that we will not be alone!
At the top of the head wall is the summit ridge which can be narrow in places and steep in others. At the end is the tippy top aka the summit around 20,320’.
I’m looking forward to all of this climb but especially the head wall and summit ridge. The trip back retraces our steps. We are planning to return to Chungkung that same day.
I won’t have any cell or WiFi access but will have my satellite phone and will keep Diane update who will then update Facebook if you are interested in following. As always I’ll do a complete report once it’s all over. I plan on documenting the climb in detail with pictures and video.
Finally, you know what this is all about and I’m grateful for all your support thus far.
You know I was thinking about meeting a fellow climber years ago in Colorado. She had lost her mother to Alzheimer’s a few years earlier. Her words still echo in my mind today.
“Yeah, I used to believe they would find a cure. I donated, advocated, did the walks, attended the rallies. But you know what? They will never solve this one. It’s too hard. Too much unknown. I miss my mom but I moved on.”
We walked quietly for a while until I said “I understand but I guess I’m not ready to move on until we find a cure.” She simply said “Good for you. Don’t give up like I have but I’m tired.”
Strength from Believing
That was in 2009, the year Ida died. I’ve also gotten tired from time to time but then researchers find something significant. More funding becomes available from governments worldwide, I read another story of a family who went bankrupt caring for a loved one, a husband who refuses to put his wife into an institution, an Alzheimer’s patient who suddenly opens her eyes and begins to sing along to her favorite church song. Holding Ida’s hands as she struggled to name any of her nine siblings in a family picture, including herself.
This is when the energy grows. We simply cannot give up. Not today, tomorrow not anytime. I am more confident that researchers will find a way to prevent, slow, stop or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease and the related dementias plus other neurological disorders from Down Syndrome to ALS to others in my lifetime.
At this point we don’t need more ideas, we need to fund the best ones with the best people. And your donations during this Island Peak 2018 climb has helped tremendously. As I leave for the summit, I can only squeak out a simple thank you. Your support for this cause keeps me climbing. A cure will be found.
Memories are Everything
Please consider a donation at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/alan-arnette-climbing-the-world-to-end-alzheimers