Dhaulagiri, Nepal
Project 8000 for Alzheimer's
26,795 feet 8167 meters


26,795 feet 8167 meters

I'm attempting Dhaulagiri in April 2017. As always, I will use my attempt to bring awareness to Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's and Ida Arnette

When Ida Arnette, my mother, passed away in 2009 from Alzheimer's Disease, I made a vow to myself that her death would not become a nameless statistics along with the other millions taken by Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) around the world.

I vowed to use my passion of mountain climbing to bring awareness, education and raise money for research. To date, I have reached over 50 million people and raised close to $300,000 - all going to nonprofit's, none ever to me.

In spite of tremendous work at the basic science level, researchers have yet to develop any means to stop Alzheimer's once it starts. There is not a lack of ideas, there is a lack of money.

This impact totally unacceptable in 2017.

Bait and Switch Strategy

My strategy is pure bait and switch. You probably would not follow me on social media or read my blog if all I talked about was a disease that has no cure, and is 100% fatal; bankrupting and destroying families along the way - like it did mine.

So, with all this in mind, I will attempt the world's seventh highest peak, Dhaulagiri at 26,795ft/8,167m in April 2017. This will be my 13th trip to Nepal since 1997.


It was first climbed on May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian/Nepali expedition and is only 21 miles west of Annapurna I.

The view by trekkers on the Annapurna circuit stands out. Dhaulagiri was once thought to be the world's highest mountain and still has one of the largest elevation gains from base camp to the summit of 11,000 feet. The mountain's name comes from Sanskrit means dazzling, white, beautiful mountain.

The Himalayan Database shows 480 summits with 82 deaths for a ratio of 17% making it the fourth most deadly 8000 meter peak. Most deaths are from avlanches and falls.

Climb Plan

The northeast ridge route is most popular for ascents but the peak has been climbed from almost all directions.

It is considered to be a hard peak to climb by the pioneers in the area, but it’s nowadays considered as one on the lower half of the difficult 8000ers. The normal route on the peak has some short technical sections and some avalanche danger, but overall it’s a quite straight forward climb.

I am once again thrilled beyond words that I will be climbing with Kami Sherpa (Ang Chhiring Sherpa – Pangboche). This will be our fifth climb together - Everest in 2011, K2 in 2014, Lhotse in 2015, Lhotse in 2016. He is a trusted partner and dear friend.

I will climb with supplemental oxygen supplied by Summit Oxygen which I used on Manaslu, and K2.

Dreamers Destination's Mingma Sherpa is leading the trip and providing the logistics. There are a few other international members but this is a small team, perfect for my style these days. I met Mingma on my summit of K2 in 2014 when he also summited. Two of our Sherpas have previously summited Dhaulagiri and Kami has been on it as well.

DhaulagiriThere are four camps on the mountain. These are the approximate altitude but condition ill determine the exact locations

  • Base Camp - 15,420'/4700m
  • Camp 1 - 19,200'/5850m
  • Camp 2 - 21,000'/6400m
  • Camp 3 - 24,280'/7400m
  • Camp 4 - 24,606'/7500m (optional)
  • Summit - 26,795'/8167m

The route is quite straightforward. Leaving base camp, it ascends an icefall below what is affectionately named the `little Eiger’. This area has been known for avalanches over the years.

From there the route lets up a bit and joins the north col where Camp 1 is located. On the way to Camp 2, the route follows a long natural ridge. The route now gets steeper as it joins the summit ridge. High camp is located on a snowfield at 7,100 meters.

The summit push follows a rather steep, 45 degree angled gulley to the summit. It will take around 8 hours to reach the summit. Once there we will return as low as possible as staying at high altitude is dangerous for too long.

Follow and Support

So I will be climbing and hopefully sending updates along the way. I want to invite you to do any or all of the following:

  • tell your friends
  • talk about Alzheimer's
  • share posts
  • pledge $0.01 per foot I climb
  • make a one time donation
  • invite me for a fundraiser after the climb
  • donate to Alzheimer's


Climb On!
Memories are Everything