Lizzie Banks, Head of Psychology, and husband, John Tinetti, have had a busy Summer raising funds for the Alzheimers Society in honour of their friend Paula Carr, a former Head of Art at St Christopher’s School. Paula’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimers three years ago and is now looked after by Paula in Scotland.
Ms Banks reports: Phase 1 of the funding raising involved hiking the Tour de Mont Blanc: 170km (110 miles) with 10km (6.2 miles) of Ascent/Descent over 6 Days, passing through France. Italy and Switzerland. Phase 2 we climbed Gran Paradiso 4,061 m (13,323 ft) and Phase 3, Mont Blanc 4,808.73 m (15,777 ft). Weather conditions on Gran Paradiso meant almost turning back three times. Only twelve people summited that day, us being two of them. One member of the group that we had joined up with for safety fell into a crevasse, but fortunately survived. We summited Mont Blanc at 8.08 on 8 August. In total, it was a 13 hour round trip. I was hit by falling ice in the infamous Grand Couloir within the first 20 minutes. This was not expected and did not bode well for the descent. Battling wind speeds of 50 knots with a temperature of -10 we were both physically and mentally destroyed. It was tricky in places as I only have the sight in one eye which affects my depth perception. On the high ridges, and with the changing light, this did not make the challenge any easier. Because we had spent the six days on the Tour de Mont Blanc acclimatizing, the altitude was not too much of a problem until an hour or so from the summit of Mont Blanc. This then really slowed down the pace as breathing was laboured. All food and water had frozen but I managed to consume two Jel packs which kept me going! This was such an unforgettable experience for a fantastic cause. The total raised for Alzheimers was BD1500. Of 535739 donors in August of this year, we were in the top 1% so a huge thank you to all those who generously donated and supported us throughout. What next? Our goal is to climb Denali in North America but we will be working up to that one. Mt Elbrus, Russia for 2017 is already in the planning stages.
If you would like to donate to the Alzheimers Society, please follow the link to Lizzie’s JustGiving page.