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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Jul 102011
Denali High Camp 17,200'

Denali High Camp 17, 200'

Climbing big mountains is just like life – you don’t always get ask for – or is that a song lyric?

In any case, I write this from High Camp at 17,200′ on Denali. Along with David, Byron and Martin, we are in various forms of consciousness listening to the wind beat the tent along with a steady snow fall. The other 9 members are in tents nearby. We were supposed to be on our summit bid right now.

The weather forecast took a bad turn and now a low pressure system is predicted to dominate our area at least through Wednesday, July 13th. Thus the first opportunity for our summit push is now Thursday.

We were prepared for this. We have plenty of food and fuel and have enough time in our schedule with our last summit day being July 17 before we need to start heading down.

However, we were prefer to be climbing, not waiting.

Attached is a picture of our camp with Denali Pass in the background – the low saddle on the skyline. It is 18,500′; half of the altitude gain to the summit of 20,320′.

Our summit day will be long, from 12 to 16 hours roundtrip. We will leave between 9:00AM and noon to avoid to coldest temperatures which can reach -30F. If it is the least bit windy, the wind-chill drops dramatically and frostbite can be a genuine risk.

I will activate my SPOT tracker when we leave High Camp and it will transmit our location every 10 minutes throughout the summit climb and back. Use the “Where’s Alan tab” on this page to see the map.

So we wait for improved conditions. The keyword is patience and the focus is maintaining a positive attitude. Be assured back home everyone is safe and as comfortable as we can be.

While we wait, I might suggest this is a great time to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease. Use the links on this page or visit our campaign site at

OK, this is all for now. The next time you go outside, blow north! Now, how did that song go!

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  15 Responses to “Waiting on the Weather”


    Thinking of all of you and hoping the weather breaks for a successful climb. Your friends at only ONE mile high.


    Hope the weather has cleared up enough for the summit attempt. Best of luck to the entire team. Alan please say hello to Alex for me. Above all stay safe.


    Be safe, we all are watching your team from So. Cal.


    All the best to you Alan as you wait out the weather.


    Thanks Alan for your dispatch. Good to hear that Marten is high up with you. All hoping for a weather window to climb the last bit to the summit.
    Voor Marten in Dutch: Geduld is een schone zaak!. Veel succes en hartelijke groeten uit een warm zonnig Zuid – Limburg.


    Old grandmother….

    Hang in there! Thinking of you.


    Since you have spare time: when I was there I dropped a candy bar in the snow… can you go look for it? Thanks. If you find it you can eat half and then bring the rest to me.


    Hang in there


    Maybe you should all get together and do a dance and make offerings to Ra (the Sun God)


    Hey Alan, looks you guys still have plenty of time, just hang in there! And best of luck once you’ll get on the way…


    Hope the weather gets better soon. Be & take good care…
    Greetings from South Africa 😉


    As you know- mountain climbing can be more sitting than climbing. Hang in there and I hope for a good summit window. Climb on!


    Alan….the “Denali hang”…just like the “Everest Base Camp hang”..follow Bradford Washburn’s advice and get out and work on you ice walls and built the best ice sculpture possible at high camp.

    “It too shall pass”


    Hang in there; Ok, I and my dog (although it’s been real trouble teaching her how to blow) am outside now, blowing as hard as we can northward!


    Got a good book? You guys hang in there.Weather will improve.Maybe you can regale your teammates with tales of Everest glory!