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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Inaugural Big Expedition for Cancer Research Begins in Alaska
Date:6/16/2008

>Mahoney got an aerial look at the peak in March when he, along with members of the Hutchinson Center support team, took a reconnaissance flight over the area to plan the primary route up the unnamed and unclimbed mountain. Because of its remote location, the 8,300 foot mountain has not been seen from the ground in more than 30 years, making planning for the expedition difficult.

Jim Wickwire, the first American to summit K2 and a member of the Big Expedition's Mountaineering Advisory Committee, was also on board for the flyover to finalize the mountain choice and route. A renowned mountaineer and Alaska climbing expert, Wickwire was instrumental in the planning process for this expedition.

"I first viewed the mountain in the late 1970s while climbing in the Fairweather Range," said Wickwire. "It's a classic peak, but one that offers no easy routes. No doubt, this will be a challenging climb."

Also serving on the Advisory Committee are 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; and Ed Viesturs, one of America's leading high-altitude mountaineers.

As the professional mountaineers on the Big Expedition undertake the journey to explore new heights in the mountains of Alaska, Hutchinson Center researchers continue toward their mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of human suffering and death. Last month, Hutchinson Center scientists David Maloney, Katie Peichel, Julian Simon and David Thomas -- all avid outdoor enthusiasts -- joined the professional climbers for a practice climb on Mount Rainier as they work together to raise awareness for cancer research.

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SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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