Monday, June 23, 2008

Cancer Research Expedition Update

Late in the afternoon on Friday, AAI got the following report from Dawn Glanc's team in Alaska. Dawn was selected as one of four climbers to climb an unnamed and unclimbed peak in Alaska in order to raise awareness of cancer research.
  • The four mountaineers attempting an unclimbed mountain in Glacier Bay National Park are in position to make a summit attempt in the next two days. “Our nemesis is the wet, slushy snow. When we’re not using our skis we’re “post-holing” (sinking in the snow) up to our knees. It’s very tough going,” said Farmer via satellite phone.

  • They have established a base camp on the south side of a saddle in the Fairweather Range at about 5100 feet. “We have a beautiful view looking south across the snowfield. We can even see the water. We think it’s the ocean but we’re not certain,” Farmer reports.

  • Yesterday, the team took their skis and some other equipment like bivy sacks (high altitude overnight sleeping bags) to a stash closer to Peak 8290 for the summit attempt. They plan to leave base camp at midnight tonight (Saturday, 12 am), pick up their skis and equipment and move across the northeast flank of the mountain. That should take them about two hours. They want to do as much climbing as they can during the night because that is as cool as the mountain will get in this weather.

  • Their route will be direct up the northeast ridge of the mountain. The first 2000 feet of the ridge are in the snow. It is then that they encounter the final 1000 feet to the summit on a “perfect rock pyramid”, as they described it earlier in the week.

  • Selected by an advisory committee made up of climbing legends, (Matt) Farmer, Dawn Glanc, Kevin Mahoney and Bayard Russell have come together as team to climb this unclimbed and unnamed peak in the name of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This national awareness project is a metaphor for the valuable work being done at the Hutchinson Center and in many other locations around the world to eliminate cancer as a cause of human suffering and death.

  • We anxiously await their next report.
For more information on their expedition, click here.

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