We are excited to officially announce that Everest 2016 is a go! Almost 6 years ago, I decided to create something that would help raise awareness and funds for the disease that took my Grandmother back in 2009, Alzheimer's. It is also the same reason I decided back then, to start training my brain and taking care of my brain for my future self (thus eventually becoming a 4x USA Memory Champion!). Climb For Memory was born out of that in 2010 with the first fundraising effort built around the 2011 Everest climb. Many of you know that I came up 50 meters short of the summit. I turned around from the summit with less than an hour left to climb because I was in bad shape and made the decision to come back alive and in one piece. 2 years later, I tried again, this time on the north side of Tibet. It proved to be much harder than the south side, with much worse (colder) weather. I made it within 300m from the top.
While the goal of getting to the top of this mountain is still a huge personal goal of mine. The main, over-arching goal of making some form of progress in the area of Alzheimer's awareness and research is number one in my mind. After 5 years, how far have we come? It hasn't always been easy. In terms of money, we have raised over $30,000, which is a big number, but nowhere near anything large enough to make a serious dent (at least in my opinion). At first, we worked closely with the Alzheimer's Association. We were involved with many of their events, and portions of the raised funds went directly to them. But while the Alzheimer's Association is fantastic charity, and I totally applaud the efforts they go to year-in and year-out to raise awareness, I soon realized that I wanted Climb For Memory to:
1). continue to find exciting ways to raise awareness and bring attention to the disease (which I believe has been very successful in the climbs and memory tournaments that we have organized) and
2). direct its involvement towards research companies that are off the beaten path, taking chances in brain research; companies that are trying to do things that may cure the disease (but may also have a high chance of failing as well). I truly believe that these are the places where real progress towards a cure will occur.
So, with that being said. Everest 2016 is on! In an effort to bring more attention to this climb and cause, I'll be doing memory training all the way up the mountain and performing a mind-boggling memory feat at the summit of the mountain, to show just how strong the mind can be.
On top of that, and of more interest to you, we will be running a trek to Everest Base Camp leading up to the climb. This is open to anyone interested in trekking up the beautiful Khumbu Valley to see the tallest mountain in the world. You'll trek in with me and my expedition team and drop us off at Base Camp, then head back down. More details can be found here.