Everest 2015: Leaving for Lhotse

Alan Alzheimers Prevention RegistryIn a few hours I will be flying towards Kathmandu for my attempt to summit the world’s fourth highest mountain, Lhotse at 27,940 feet or 8516 meters. As always, I value, with gratitude, your good thoughts.


I will be blogging along the way and extensively from Everest Base Camp.

This link is the primary location for all updates but there will be pointers from my Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts. I will do my but not be able to respond to many of the comments.

As has been my custom for the last 13 years, I will also be blogging about Everest. With me being at Everest Base Camp, I hope to do personal interviews with the climbers and bring the world what really happens on Everest from an informed perspective with no agenda

The way to stay informed is to sign up for notifications by email when I make a new post. Please use this link.

You can also follow my every move from Kathmandu to the summit via the SPOT GPS tracker, just click on the “Where’s Alan” menu item or this link.



LhotselongrouteI feel like I have climbed Lhotse four times already, just not to the summit as it shares 80% of the same route used to summit Everest.

I will be climbing with Madison Mountaineering and Garrett Madison who I summited K2 with last summer. Also, I am thrilled beyond words to have Kami Sherpa (Ang Chhiring Sherpa – Pangboche) climb with me. I summited Everest in 2011 with Kami as well as K2 last year. Also joining me will be Louis Carstens whom I summited Manaslu with in 2013.

The Climb

Lhotse is known as a “technical” climb meaning you need to use protection, climbing gear and full on hands and feet to gain the summit. As I make several climbs through the Khumbu Icefall, I’ll be thinking of the Sherpas who lost their lives in this section last year. I hope to minimize my, and our Sherpas, exposure by limiting the gear I carry to the high camps.

The real crux of climbing Lhotse is the final 300 meters or last 1,000 feet. Once leaving the Camp 3 at 23,500 feet on the Lhotse Face, I will cross the Yellow Band and then turn right continuing straight up the Face instead of contouring across the Geneva Spur to the South Col as I did on my Everest summit climb. We will make camp at 25,750 feet or 7850 meters on the snow covered steep slopes of Lhotse. It is almost 2,200 feet to the summit on 50 to 60 degree slopes.
Leaving early the next morning, we will climb about 400 feet eventually reaching the bottom of the Lhotse Couloir, a narrow, rock filled gully that leads to the summit that is only 9 feet wide in some spots. This is the most challenging part of a Lhotse climb and will require every mountaineering skill I have obtained on my previous 37 expeditions. I will stem off the rocks, scramble and full on rock climb the final sections. Lhotse’s summit is a small rock block that is often covered in snow making it dangerous.

The return involves rappelling and arm rapping back to Camp 4 or Camp 2 where I will spend the night. The entire summit push will take 7 days. Thanks to Ellen Miller for the Lhotse photographs.

A Personal Commitment

The day my mom, Ida, asked me “Who are you?” was the day my life changed forever. I made a personal commitment to do everything I could to make a difference in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. I began to dedicate my climbs to raise awareness about AD: no cure, always fatal, not a part of normal aging.  Thus far, thanks to many of you, we have reached 50 million people and raised $250,000 for Alzheimer’s research.

But there is so much more to be done, more I can do.

In finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, al trails play an important role. Many of the headlines you read about potential breakthroughs are done on mice or small scale human trails. In order for a new therapy to reach those in need, it must go through human trials and there is a severe shortage of volunteers thus stalling progress. In fact, 80% of studies fail because too few people sign up.

Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry

The Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry strives to overcome that hurdle by engaging people 18 and older of all races and ethnicities who are committed to ending Alzheimer’s, whether or not they have a family history of the disease. From simple questionnaires and surveys, to brain imaging studies and even pharmaceutical trials to evaluate investigational medications and therapies, the Registry offers members many ways in which to participate. In no way does joining the Registry obligate you to take part in a study or al trial.

Alan holding a picture of Ida Arnette on the summit of Mt. ElbrusThe Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry is part of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI),  a nonprofit organization dedicated to the goal of ending Alzheimer’s disease without losing another generation. It is helping to launch a new era of Alzheimer’s research—detection, ment and prevention at the pre-symptomatic stage—and to establish a comprehensive model of care that can be the national standard. BAI was founded in 2006 by Phoenix-based Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit healthcare systems.

• In no way does joining the Registry obligate you to take part in a study or al trial.

• Each study has a defined set of eligibility requirements, which means not everyone will qualify for enrollment in a particular study.

• All studies associated with the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry are approved by an ethics committee and ensure participants’ privacy and confidentiality.

I have made the personal commitment and joined the registry.

jointheregistryFollow and Join

OK, I’m pretty pumped about all this. This is the first climb for Project 8000. I’m grateful to Banner for supporting me with this project and very pleased to ask you to join the Registry – I have.

I hope to hold that same picture of Ida Arnette on the summit.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything




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12 thoughts on “Everest 2015: Leaving for Lhotse

  1. Just realized I’ve come to look forward to keeping up with this climbing season, through your posts, as much as the Broncos and Grizzlies, during their respective seasons. And, that’s saying a lot! 🙂 Positive thoughts and prayers being sent your way from Hernando. And, as others have said, thanks for all you do.

  2. Hi Alan, Wish you the very best, good luck with climbing Lhotse,
    time and time again amaze me, i believe you can do it,
    and you sure will do it for a noble cause.
    have a great experience, but most of all,
    a safe journey there and back.

  3. Alan: Wishing you success on your climb, and thank you for all that you do to bring awareness to Alzheimers.

  4. Good luck Alan, look forward as usual to your words and insight while observing and participating in such wonderful and meaningful activities!

  5. I hope u will submit it with ur good health….. .. wishing u all the best… for this mission….<3….

  6. Look forward to your reports Alan! I always love to live your climbs with you through your excellent writing! All the best on your new adventure and as you always say “Climb on!”

  7. Wishing you all the very best Alan and look foward to your posts. The last bit to Summit does look really steep but another great challenge for you 🙂 You have the experience and very exciting for you.

  8. Go Alan go! Sending from CT all good wishes for success! Will be with you via the internet


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