Just recently, four Americans- Dawn Glanc, Kevin Mahoney, Bayard Russel and Matt Farmer- attempted to ascend an unclimbed peak in Alaska, retreating only 500ft from the summit, due to conditions on the mountain.
The goal of the expedition was to create a metaphor between the arduous task of climbing a virgin peak and that of research for cancer. The website states: “Like science, you can see the summit in the distance but as you continue up, it may not seem to be getting closer. The Big Expedition for Cancer Research- Unclimbed Mountains to Conquer is intended to show that seemingly insurmountable challenges are attainable and that they can lead to successes- such as finding a cure for cancer.”
Although the team did not summit, the goal seemed to have been reached: “The metaphor for cancer research is complete. There are more unclimbed mountains to challenge.”
The expedition was funded by the cancer research center, which makes it obviously easier to get such an expedition on the way. Nevertheless, I appreciate the concept that climbing can be used in a positive metaphoric way and to help a cause that will potentially concern all of us, from close or far, in the years to come.
Hopefully the participants were warned that the ozone layer is quite thin up there. At least, they’ll know where to turn to. Just in case!