Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Big Expedition for Cancer Research Team Returns From Reconnaissance Flight Over Alaska's Glacier Bay Park

Team finalizes choice of mountain and route for June expedition



Mar 14, 2008, 01:00 ET from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    SEATTLE, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Members from Fred Hutchinson Cancer
 Research Center's Big Expedition for Cancer Research got their first aerial
 look at the peak they will climb this summer. The group returned today from
 a photo flyover to plan a primary route up the unnamed and unclimbed
 mountain in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. The Big Expedition for
 Cancer Research is a quest sponsored by the Hutchinson Center to raise
 national awareness of cancer research.
 
     The 8,300 foot mountain, which had not been seen by a mountaineer in
 more than 30 years, had only been viewed from one side, making planning for
 the expedition difficult. It is in a remote location and features a
 precipitous peak.
 
     This June, a team of four professional climbers from across North
 America will scale the unnamed peak as the kick-off event of this national
 awareness campaign. The climb mirrors the quest to eliminate cancer -- the
 route is uncharted, there are inevitable unexpected setbacks and
 exhilarating advances, yet the goal remains paramount.
 
     "The remoteness of the mountain makes this an expedition in the truest
 sense," said Kevin Mahoney, expedition member from Madison, New Hampshire.
 "It's a classic peak, but one that offers no easy routes. Its location adds
 to the challenge. As climbers, we are all excited to climb this peak in the
 name of cancer research."
 
     Using Air Excursions flying service out of Juneau, Kevin Mahoney; Jim
 Wickwire, an experienced Alaska climber and member of the Mountaineering
 Advisory Committee; and Kit Herrod, director of public relations for the
 Hutchinson Center, were on board for the flyover to finalize the mountain
 choice and route.
 
     "After more than three decades, it was exciting to see this area of the
 Fairweather Range again," said Jim Wickwire, who first viewed the mountain
 in the late 1970s while climbing in the area. "It is truly a stunning
 peak."
 
     The public will be able to follow the four mountaineers step by step
 during the planning stages and then through the climb itself on the Big
 Expedition Web site at http://www.fhcrc.org/about/bigexpedition. On a
 parallel track, the Web site will profile four Hutchinson Center
 scientists, all avid outdoor enthusiasts, to reflect the similarities
 between the quest to scale an unclimbed peak and the mission to eliminate
 cancer.
 
     BACKGROUND
 
     About the Big Expedition for Cancer Research
 
     Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center launched the Big Expedition last
 fall to create public awareness around the monumental task of eliminating
 cancer. "The scaling of an unclimbed mountain is a good metaphor for cancer
 research because the challenges are unknown until you are in the middle of
 it and no one wants to turn back," said Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, Ph.D.,
 president and director of the Hutchinson Center. "Through the efforts of
 these professional mountaineers, we hope to build awareness for the
 critical need to support cancer research."
 
     About the Big Expedition's Mountaineering Advisory Committee
 
     This group of renowned mountaineers, expedition leaders and
 adventurers, consists of Phil and Susan Ershler, the first couple to climb
 the world's "Seven Summits," the highest peaks on each of the seven
 continents; John Harlin, a noted climber and editor of American Alpine
 Journal; Eric Simonson, leader of the historic Mount Everest expedition
 that found the body of George Leigh Mallory; John Roskelley, a public
 servant, conservationist, author and revered American Himalayan climber; Ed
 Viesturs, one of America's leading high-altitude mountaineers; and Jim
 Wickwire, a climbing legend and Alaska mountaineering expert who was the
 first American to climb K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth.
 
     About Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
 
     At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, interdisciplinary teams of
 world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent,
 diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers,
 including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for
 health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more
 information, please visit http://fhcrc.org.
 
     Video available: http://www.sidewalkcinema.com/alaska then Fred Hutch
 Mountain Video to download coverage.
 
 
 

SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    SEATTLE, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Members from Fred Hutchinson Cancer
 Research Center's Big Expedition for Cancer Research got their first aerial
 look at the peak they will climb this summer. The group returned today from
 a photo flyover to plan a primary route up the unnamed and unclimbed
 mountain in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. The Big Expedition for
 Cancer Research is a quest sponsored by the Hutchinson Center to raise
 national awareness of cancer research.
 
     The 8,300 foot mountain, which had not been seen by a mountaineer in
 more than 30 years, had only been viewed from one side, making planning for
 the expedition difficult. It is in a remote location and features a
 precipitous peak.
 
     This June, a team of four professional climbers from across North
 America will scale the unnamed peak as the kick-off event of this national
 awareness campaign. The climb mirrors the quest to eliminate cancer -- the
 route is uncharted, there are inevitable unexpected setbacks and
 exhilarating advances, yet the goal remains paramount.
 
     "The remoteness of the mountain makes this an expedition in the truest
 sense," said Kevin Mahoney, expedition member from Madison, New Hampshire.
 "It's a classic peak, but one that offers no easy routes. Its location adds
 to the challenge. As climbers, we are all excited to climb this peak in the
 name of cancer research."
 
     Using Air Excursions flying service out of Juneau, Kevin Mahoney; Jim
 Wickwire, an experienced Alaska climber and member of the Mountaineering
 Advisory Committee; and Kit Herrod, director of public relations for the
 Hutchinson Center, were on board for the flyover to finalize the mountain
 choice and route.
 
     "After more than three decades, it was exciting to see this area of the
 Fairweather Range again," said Jim Wickwire, who first viewed the mountain
 in the late 1970s while climbing in the area. "It is truly a stunning
 peak."
 
     The public will be able to follow the four mountaineers step by step
 during the planning stages and then through the climb itself on the Big
 Expedition Web site at http://www.fhcrc.org/about/bigexpedition. On a
 parallel track, the Web site will profile four Hutchinson Center
 scientists, all avid outdoor enthusiasts, to reflect the similarities
 between the quest to scale an unclimbed peak and the mission to eliminate
 cancer.
 
     BACKGROUND
 
     About the Big Expedition for Cancer Research
 
     Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center launched the Big Expedition last
 fall to create public awareness around the monumental task of eliminating
 cancer. "The scaling of an unclimbed mountain is a good metaphor for cancer
 research because the challenges are unknown until you are in the middle of
 it and no one wants to turn back," said Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, Ph.D.,
 president and director of the Hutchinson Center. "Through the efforts of
 these professional mountaineers, we hope to build awareness for the
 critical need to support cancer research."
 
     About the Big Expedition's Mountaineering Advisory Committee
 
     This group of renowned mountaineers, expedition leaders and
 adventurers, consists of Phil and Susan Ershler, the first couple to climb
 the world's "Seven Summits," the highest peaks on each of the seven
 continents; John Harlin, a noted climber and editor of American Alpine
 Journal; Eric Simonson, leader of the historic Mount Everest expedition
 that found the body of George Leigh Mallory; John Roskelley, a public
 servant, conservationist, author and revered American Himalayan climber; Ed
 Viesturs, one of America's leading high-altitude mountaineers; and Jim
 Wickwire, a climbing legend and Alaska mountaineering expert who was the
 first American to climb K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth.
 
     About Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
 
     At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, interdisciplinary teams of
 world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent,
 diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers,
 including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for
 health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more
 information, please visit http://fhcrc.org.
 
     Video available: http://www.sidewalkcinema.com/alaska then Fred Hutch
 Mountain Video to download coverage.
 
 
 SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center