Summited March 5, 2012
Scottish Highlands : Ben Nevis (4,409'/1344m)
I am excited to continue
to climb the world to end Alzheimer's. I summitted the highest in the UK, Ben Nevis on March 5, 2012. I was in the UK speaking at the Alzheimer's Disease
International annual conference. I told the story of my mom, Ida, her struggles and my sense of helplessness at the time.
However since her death in 2009, I have channeled those feelings into raising awareness that Alzheimer's is a disease, just like cancer or diabetes
but unlike many disease, has no cure, no effective treatment and no simple means of early diagnosis. This all must change and it will come with more money
invested in research, education and awareness. That is the message I sent from the highest peak in the UK.
Known as simply Ben by the local, it is steeped in history and acclaimed as one the primer climbing spots in all the UK. It is located in the Scottish
Highlands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains. The nearest town in Fort William and also Glasgow.
The first summit was recorded in 1771 by a botanist, James Robertson. In 1883 an observatory was built on the summit and is no longer in operation
today but the trail aka the Pony Track, remains popular and is used by tens of thousands each year. The John Muir Trust bought massif and surrounding area
Ben is climbed year round but is famous for difficult weather with clouds covering the summit nearly 80% of the time in winter and 50% in summer. It
is said the summit is clear one out of every ten days. The average summit temperature is around freezing and it receives twice as much rainfall as nearby
Fort William. However I had a rare, prefect weather day on March 5, 2012!
I climbed the classic Tower Ridge, an 1800' ridge line with significant exposure and several tricky parts. It is graded as a Scottish level iV, 3 meaning
the route has steep ice with short vertical steps or long pitches up to 70º, or mixed routes requiring advanced techniques. I climbed with Ken
Applegate arranged by Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountaineering
Ben Nevis Resources: