Retired Major James Gracia will attempt to summit Ama Dablam, a mountain at 6812 meters, in the Himalaya range of eastern Nepal next month in aid of the Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society (GADS).
Ama Dablam, is known as the mountaineer’s mountain and is located just east of Mount Everest and “it’s quite impressive”. Her name translated is “Mother’s necklace” after its ridges stretch out on each side like the arms of a mother embracing the Himalayas and the hanging glacier looks like a pendent.
Ama Dablam is classed as a ‘technical’ mountain as people cannot walk up to the summit but instead need to have the technical knowledge, equipment and physicality to climb up.
“I have always been into mountaineering I just thought I need to do something next level, this is a mountaineer’s mountain as there are a few technical sections to it and that is what attracted me to it,” he said.
Mr Gracia has always been a keen mountaineer and decided to climb Ama Dablam in aid of GADS as the charity has a special place in his heart.
“My Mum was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago and from experience being at height and being very cold some of the symptoms are very similar to the confusion,” he said.
“I thought everyone else is doing something for charity and this is quite a big thing so why can’t I do it for charity. If I collect a bit of money that would be brilliant but its more about raising awareness.”
His mother has a big support network with Mr Gracia, his sisters and the Bella Vista clinic, he said.
“But there are people out there who don’t and are on their own and it must be very daunting,” he added.
It was seeing stickers on vans in Cornwall that said “Adventure before Dementia” that was poignant for him because his Grandfather has dementia and he believes the chances are he will also get it.
“So ‘Adventure before Dementia’ means something to me,” he said.
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Follow his progress on Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/amadablamGADS and donate to his Just Giving page on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amadablamgads