Check out this local TV coverage on our trip...
At dawn on September 28, 2012, we summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro in our personal quests for a little adventure ... and to support the cause of finding a cure for prostate cancer.
None of us were mountaineers, or even hardy backpackers. But for 8 days we accepted the challenge of living outdoors in tents, in below freezing temps at night, battling harsh weather and respiratory and other health issues, and the beast itself, oxygen-starved ALTITUDE.
To a man, we all agreed it was the hardest thing we'd every done in our lives. For me, climbing Kili was a humbling experience that took everything I had to offer, and only left me with enough oxygen to enjoy the magnificence of the summit ... and this refreshed perspective:
No matter how hard we think we had it on Kili, there are millions battling much greater adversity in their daily struggles with cancer, including prostate cancer. We took on Kili for personal adventure, but our ultimate goal was to help researchers find a cure for prostate cancer. This summit, too, is within reach ... with your help.
Our site remains open for donations. We will be posting pictures and stories about the climb in the future, and hope you too will join in the fight for a cure.
Thanks again....and stay tuned for more!
On September 22, 2012 ...
... six of us with no clue will begin a long hike up to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro—at 19,340 feet, the tallest, most iconic rock in Africa. We're mostly aging skiers, over-the-hill marathoners, senior softballers -- all of us creeky in the joints. None of us are serious backpackers. Climbing "one of the world's seven summits" is way out of our collective wheelhouse. I haven't slept outdoors in a tent since Cub Scouts, some fifty years ago...
WHATEVER. We're climbing for ...
... a little adventure and to raise funds to end prostate cancer, which affects one in every six American men. One in six. That would be me. My Dad. My brother, Kurt. We had the mutant gene.That puts my son, Nick, and my four nephews in the genetic crosshairs. So my climb is personal.
But prostate cancer threatens many families today, genetics being just one of the risk factors. It's the second deadliest cancer for men. Yet, the best treatments in half the cases can be worse than the disease. It sucks.
Diagnosed in 2008, I wrote a book about my experience with PC. I also learned how close science was getting to a cure. So to help push things along, we're using the climb to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation, because of their many great contributions to prostate cancer research. Here is a sample of some of the exciting projects PCF is funding.
We're asking for your help—to kick a buck or two.
Every dollar counts, so even a $5 or $10 dondation is deeply appreciated. When you donate to our Kilimanjaro climb, your tax-deductible contribution goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the important work they're doing to find better PC screens, better therapies and the Holy Grail itself, a cure.
A WORD ABOUT OUR GROUP AND THE CLIMB...
Not being mountain climbers, we all began training a full year in advance. All of us are between in our fifties and sixties, not-ancient-but. On the team is Ed Smith (retired crime analyst), Mark Chelmowski (doctor), Chris Lundborg (super cop), David Rose (globe-trotting engineer), and my uncle Len Rose (business owner) who initiated the Kili climb idea last summmer.
We plan to hike the remote Lemosho Route over 8 days, slowly pushing into higher altitudes to acclimatize our bodies and avoid the dreaded AMS -- Acute Mountain Sickness. It's not a climb without risk, but we've hired expert guides, plus we're bringing along extra oxygen to toot on should things get dicey.
On the seventh day, after trekking through rainforest, arid scrubs, rock fields and scaling The Great Barranco Wall, we reach a final base camp at 15,100 feet. From there, at midnight, we start a six-hour assault up the final 4,200 feet -- under a full moon -- to summit at dawn. We'll take photos along the way and maybe write something up, although the alluring "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" seems to be taken.
Till then, we train, Running, slogging up Stairmasters and parking lot ramps, dragging a tire over a bridge and back (for flatlanders, video coming) ... taking extra Celebrex .... doing what we can to reach two summits: Kili and a cure for prostate cancer.
Thanks for your support!