At 7am, their time, the team set out for the Summit of Mt Elbrus. The climb started from High Camp and across the upper portion of the Mikelchiran Glacier until the team reached the Saddle at 17,700 ft. The weather was perfect for climbing and some of the team actually commented on being too warm! Because of sunny skies, the team was able to take in incredible views of Russia from the summit. Today the team made their final ascent to the summit in memory of Teddy, forever 9 1/2. The team took Teddy’s monkey, that was always with him, to the very top of the mountain. Teddy was eight years old and in third grade when he was diagnosed with undifferentiated sarcoma in his chest. He endured 7 rounds of highly toxic chemotherapy, 2 life threatening operations, and 7 weeks of radiation. The surgeries removed all visible tumor but the chemotherapy was not able to kill all the cancer cells in his system. In less than a month after he finished treatment, new tumors were discovered in other areas of his chest. Teddy passed away early on the morning of August 16 just over 9 months after his initial diagnosis. One of Teddy’s most joyful times during his illness was the St Baldrick’s event at Osborn Hill School. He was the star, overseeing the first shavee of the night, his older brother John. He even felt comfortable to take off his hooded sweatshirt and bare his bald head as he felt he wasn’t alone in his baldness anymore. Thank you to the Gerber family for giving Climb for Five the honor to climb in Teddy’s memory.
After their time at the summit, the team started their trek back down the mountain, making a 40 minute stop at High Camp and then made their way down to Camp 1 at 12,300 ft. They were having dinner and getting ready to go to bed. The team is all tired after such a long and strenuous day but they were all doing well and were happy that they all made it to the top for the kids. Tomorrow the team will make their way down to base camp carrying the full weight of all their gear. Thank you all!