A group of Iowa cancer survivors begins a trip today to climb part way up Mt. Everest. One of the participants, 28-year-old Brandon Sickler of Des Moines, told Radio Iowa the trip is intended to make a statement that cancer is just a speed bump in life. Sickler says getting to world’s highest mountain is tough task.
He says they will fly to Kathmandu, spend the day, and then fly to Lukla, which he says is an adventure in itself. He says Lukla has one of the shortest runways in the world. Sickler is a luekemia survivor and has been in training with the 13 other cancer survivors in preparation for this trip. He says once they get to Lukla, they will head part way up the mountain.
Sickler says they will hike for 10 days to get up to a base camp. They’ll go from an elevation of about 9,500 feet, up to 17,600 feet of the base camp before they come back down. Sickler says he is very eager to experience some of the culture of the people in the area.
The group is partnering with Charlie Wittmack, the first Iowan to climb Mount Everest, in what’s called “Above & Beyond: Cancer Survivors Trek to Everest.” Wittmack is in the midst of what he calls a “World Triathlon Adventure”which will culminate in his ascent to the summit of Mt. Everest.
You can see more about the cancer survivors’ adventure on Wittmack’s website at: www.theworldtri.com.