Everest 2011 Final Expediton Report

Alan on the summit of Everest, here 5:00AM May 21, healing 2011

Everest 2011 is over. This was the third climb of the 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s: Memories are Everything. In my normal tradition, I have written a complete trip report. But this one is a bit different.

I wanted to keep my summit in the context of the goal thus the report provides a bit of background on my motivation to return to Everest for a fourth time in spite of being 9 years older after my first attempt in 2002.

I also try to describe in more detail than in my dispatches about the actual climbing, conditions and what it was like to actually be climbing the highest slopes of Everest and of course standing on the summit as the sun rose.

It is in PDF format that you download and read at your leisure from this link:


and as always, I welcome your comments back on this post or with an email.

This is an excerpt where I describe standing on the summit:

“I took the final steps to the summit and saw a bench carved out the snow just beneath a collection of prayer flags. I saw Mirjam and Minga and three other climbers already on the summit. They had climbed from the north side and were the first of the season from Tibet. Knowing our time was limited due to the current and impending weather, again I focused on mechanics. I unzipped my down suit and took out my satellite phone. I wanted to post an audio dispatch on my website.

A button was programmed to call a blogging service to record a message for my Blog. I had to enter the 9 digit ID code and took off my mitten. Immediately, I felt my finger tips go from slightly cold to a tingling freeze. But knew what I wanted to say. “I want to dedicate this summit to my mom and to all the Alzheimer’s moms. We love you and miss you.” The emotion was strong. I had more to say but could not go on.

Kami had taken my camera and was clicking pictures as I made my calls. Karma Rita pulled several banners out of my pack, including Flat Stanley given to me from a school in Florida. I tried to hold them steady in the high winds.  With the tasks completed, my shoulders slumped as I put my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. My down hood covered my face. I sobbed silently, celebrating the summit and grieving my mom. I thought about my 7 Summits project, all the supporters, all the followers; all the people who believed in me. The feelings were overwhelming.

Kami and Karma Rita stood by quietly giving me room. The wind gusted and I started to get cold. Time to leave. I stood up and looked from top of the world for the first time. I stood silent and still. I pulled my goggles up to have a clear view. The eastern horizon was now a long line of soft golden light. The sun was revealing the nearby summits,  mountain valleys and glaciers. I looked north into Tibet, west and south to Nepal. The summits had the spotlight of the morning sun casting shadows to the west. There were no higher mountains, no higher spots on earth. I was a tiny spec, it was humbling.”

OK, there are more climbs to come. Next up is the climb of the highest peak in North America, Denali aka Mt. McKinely in Alaska. I will be posting regular dispatches during the climb so you can follow along just like on Everest. This will be my third attempt (yes, I know 🙂 ) so there are many stories to tell and memories to share. I will be climbing this one with Mountain Trip.

But always remember that this is about the cause: to raise awareness and $1M for Alzheimer’s research. You can once again pledge a penny for every foot I climb or $131 for Denali. Use this link to donate.

Thanks everyone!

Climb On!


Memories are Everything

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19 thoughts on “Everest 2011 Final Expediton Report

  1. Great report on a great climb! My group was staying at the tourist EBC the night of your summit (May 21st) near Rombuk Monastery and someone in our group took a night photo of Everest and captured the tiny tents at Base Camp 4 all lit up in his photo. What an amazing feat for such a great cause!

    1. Thanks everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments on my final report and my overall Alzheimer’s effort. As always, your energy is part of my strength.

  2. Alan, your accomplishments are simply amazing. I’m sure your mother would be very proud. It’s evident she did a good job raising you, she should be commended for that as well. I truly respect your hard work and efforts to help and support others. We climbed once on Long’s together, rather you climbed ahead of me, and downclimbed with my friend Dan (PolishPete from 14ers here). Anyway, it’s weird but it’s an honor to tell people I’ve had the ability to even speak a few words with you.

    Keep up the good work, and please be safe!!

  3. Just finished the pdf.Great read.Glad it was sunrise when you reached summit.Probably made downclimbing easier for you in fatigued state.Wish you had a pic of that dog! lol Maybe you should write a novel for fund raising.Not just Everest though,you should mention all of your climbs,even the 14’ers.They all contributed to ultimate Everest success.

  4. You write so beautifully that both takes us all along with you on your journeys. You should turn it all into a novel to raise further awareness and $$$s for research. Look forward to more.

  5. Awesome work Alan you did great. I would of felt awesome to stand on the worlds highest spot. Good luck on McKinley and hope yougo well. Cameron

  6. Hi Alan, as usual, My family and I have the utmost respect for you, your stamina, your achievements, your blogging and your cause… Thankyou from Blackpool, UK !

  7. When you’ve completed the rest of your summits, and you will, I will write you an email and let you know what you have done for me during your stay in the Khumbu Valley. You’re too busy to hear it now, and I’m not emotionally able to do it now. So climb on my friend, ly waiting to watch what awesomeness you still have in store for us.

    1. Ginger, I will look forward to your email and as always, I sincerely appreciate your words of support throughout my climbs and journey.

  8. I remember that audio dispatch very well,it stired a lot of emotions in my heart.I really enjoyed all the posts and will continue to read them as they come in.Thanks so much.

  9. Anybody outside your immediate family ever told you you are kinda amazing?Lets see,summit the highest mountain on earth,fly halfway around the world to attend daughters wedding,then zip off to Alaska to scale Denali.NO SWEAT! Inspirational,man.

  10. Well, now I know what I’ll be reading this weekend! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I’m also looking forward to reading more about Denali and the remaining summits.

  11. Outstanding…really enjoyed following your whole adventure and your recap was fantastic. Thanks for sharing

  12. That was a very emotional read. I know I will never reach the summit of Everest myself (I would like to trek to BC one day), but thanks for taking me with you on your incredible journey. Good luck on Denali. I will of course be tagging along with you on that climb as well. Congratulations again! Keep up the good work.

  13. Following…. Supporting…. Believing in YOU and THE CAUSE. With you every step of the way Alan.

  14. Just love that you took Flat Stanley to the top of Everest Alan…Stanley has been able to reach the highhest heights thanks to you….all the children will be so happy for you and him on this successful journey! Looking forward to your next climb in your 7 summits quest…

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