Outdoors: Group Tackles Tall Peak for Cancer Research

Valley News

November 10, 2012

By Jared Pendak

One summer morning several years ago, Wes Chapman discovered the Prouty and its mission after growing curious about the high number of cyclists gliding past his Hanover home.

“I called out to a group of them, ‘What are you guys doing?’ ” Chapman recalled in a phone interview yesterday. “They said, ‘We’re raising money for cancer (research and treatment),’ and I thought it was a great idea.”

This year, Chapman has been utilizing the Prouty mission — raising funds for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC), the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center-based research, treatment and prevention facility — to exercise his passion for mountain climbing.

Following a series of training hikes over the summer and fall in New Hampshire, Chapman’s “Reach for the Peaks” Prouty Mountaineering Program embarks next month on an expedition up the 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. With six registered climbers, the 11-day journey to Africa’s highest peak is expected to raise $30,000 for NCCC.

Kelly Michaelsen Ph.D. candidate Kelly Michaelsen

“I’ve always found the juxtaposition interesting, between the horrible hardships of cancer and the beauty of the outdoors,” said Chapman, a 1977 Dartmouth College graduate who is the president at CEO of a Lebanon-based healthcare consulting company. “I’m sure it’s a real sense of accomplishment for those who ride the Prouty to fight cancer, and I think it works doubly so with mountaineering. It’s that much more intense to be high on the mountains.”

With assistance from Kelly Michaelsen, an experienced outdoor guide and student at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Chapman’s Reach for the Peaks group is set to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania on Dec. 11.

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