Nancy's Climb to Fight Cancer Web Page

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Team Kilimanjaro
Amount Raised
125 percent of goal achieved.
Goal: $50,000.00
Achieved: $62,730.00
Fundraising Honor Roll

Nancy fossil hunting in the Canadian Rockies near Banff

About me

Nancy Hong is a lifescience VC at RiverVest Venture Partners who lives at sea level in San Diego but loves to hike and travel and is passionate about getting new medicines and treatments to patients in need. 

Why am I doing this?

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro has been a long-time dream, and to be able to combine the trek with a meaningful cause close to me and so many is a special opportunity. We are truly in a golden age of molecular medicine where research dollars are translating more and more directly to clinical impact in oncology. The Hutch has been a leader in this arena, and it is a privilege to help their efforts. And joining fellow biotech folks on this trip is icing on the cake! 

Please make a gift

Please click on the green "Donate" button above to give to the Climb to Fight Cancer. Every gift helps! Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a charitable, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Fred Hutch are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. This organization's tax ID is 23-7156071.



My Climb Journal


Departure butterflies
The time has come to pack up the massive gear I am lugging to Tanzania. It is quite the puzzle, what to carry and what to check and how, knowing that we are also flying to Kenya via a small plane with a different weight limit. And the unfortunate possibility of luggage theft: a neighbor who just got off Kili had his gear bag nipped from the airport and had to scramble to rent stuff. Aside from the logistics, I am super excited to finally be heading off, over six months after deciding to take this on. I highly recommend a trek, race, or other goal to organize your downtime around - it has been so fun to prep! Thanks to all who have supported me on this first part of my journey!

by Nancy Hong on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 @ 11:53 AM

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Patience in the face of challenge
Back to Kili-training after what felt like interminable rehab for my knee post-ski incident (falling on the last run of the day - so classic). Can't help but think it is great mental training for a hike at super high altitude: slow and steady progress to overcome the difficulties. Now to get more physically prepped!
Huge thanks to my Kili-team for all the great donations to the Hutch! With pledges in the the pipeline, I have surpassed the $50k nominal goal. My eternal gratitude to all my generous supporters!

by Nancy Hong on Fri, May 17, 2019 @ 5:00 PM

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Trek FAQs
"How long is the trip?" It's the 7-day Machame route trek that includes ample up-and-down acclimatization and a 90+% success rate according to our guide, Alpine Ascents.
"Wait, are you a mountain climber?" Nope! But this is a multi-day hiking trip (about 35 miles) at high altitude but without any technical climbing.
"What kind of training are you doing?" Lots of hikes, will up my game soon to improve my cardio: stair master with weights seems like a common suggestion.
"Wait, you're not taking your husband?" Nope! And most husbands aren't taking their wives!

by Nancy Hong on Sun, Apr 14, 2019 @ 6:28 PM

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Awesome hikes in SD
Kili-training has been a terrific motivator to get out each weekend I'm in town to hike. We don't have as many obvious choices as my Bay Area teammates do, but there are some really good ones for anyone in the area and looking for nature:
*Iron Mountain via Old Miner's Trail (aka Wild Horse Trail): 8 miles to and from a 2700 ft peak with ocean views from Poway. Surprisingly deserted if you start on the Miner's Trail through a stream-cut valley up the ridge.
*Mt Woodson: the famous hike to "Potato Chip rock" which is just north of Iron Mountain and a good up-and-down workout.
*Torrey Pines: very little elevation gain but the most scenic and famous hike in all of San Diego. My local!

by Nancy Hong on Fri, Feb 22, 2019 @ 5:46 PM

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Gear list
Part of the fun is assembling gear, right? I forgot a trench for JPM and thought to get a shell for this trip. Of course my friends are an opinionated bunch. Arc'teryx or Hyperlite? I just went with what was available at the local REI, and we actually didn't get enough rain in SF this time to properly test it out. Soliciting all gear recommendations! Meanwhile had some nice hikes up in Anza Borrego over the holidays, to the palm oasis and slot canyons.

by Nancy Hong on Sat, Jan 12, 2019 @ 3:57 PM

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Newbie training plans
While no one can predict how your body will respond to 19000 ft altitude (is there a dx for this?), I know my RBC levels are probably pretty low, and my cardiovascular fitness will need a boost to give myself the best chance for a fun trip to Kili. Luckily I have the Torrey Pines State Park grade within walking distance of my home, visits to Yosemite and Kings Canyon already scheduled this spring, and Mt Whitney or nearby peaks on which to practice. Will be seeking advice from pals who have been, and hopefully a blessing from mountaineering legend Louis Reichardt, who has summited Everest the hard way and K2 without supplemental oxygen. DM me with your suggestions!

by Nancy Hong on Thu, Dec 20, 2018 @ 8:31 PM

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