COCHRANE – Medicine may be his calling, but a local doctor has reached a lifelong goal of climbing the highest mountain on every continent in the world.
Earlier this month Dr. Bill Hanlon, a Cochrane-based family doctor, completed his seven-summit project after 20 years.
Hanlon and three friends reached the 4,884-m summit of the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia on Oct. 16.
It snowed the entire climb, causing poor visibility and freezing up his rope grips. Hanlon rested at the summit for only 20 minutes before climbing back down.
“It was just really nice to get there,” said Hanlon, 55. “A lot of time accidents happen more often on the way down from a mountain, so one couldn’t relax too much.”
This was Hanlon’s second attempt climbing the mountain. Last year he got caught in a mudslide and broke four ribs before turning around.
“I think I learned more from the disappointment of not achieving goals because it does make one more humble,” said Hanlon.
As Hanlon did more international mountaineering he saw the medical needs of the people he met living in remote villages. These people inspired him to start Basic Health International Foundation, a not-for-profit group providing medical
care to those in the isolated mountain communities of Tibet, Mongolia, India, Ethiopia, Peru and Indonesia.