Climbing Franconia Ridge with the Prouty Mountaineering Program

Climbing Franconia Ridge with the Prouty Mountaineering Program

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Climbing Franconia Ridge – with the Kilimanjaro Team

Little Haystack Mt (4,780ft), Mt. Lincoln (5,089ft), Mt. Lafayette (5,260ft), 8.4 miles

The Prouty Mountaineering Program
(the first Prouty Challenge Event benefitting Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center)

September 30, 2012

Wes Chapman

A cool and damp start in Franconia Notch

The concept at the heart of The Prouty is simple – get people to engage in the outdoors and raise money to fight cancer for our NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. This past Sunday the gang slated for the December climb of Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa – took on the three Peaks of Franconia Ridge. Mountaineering is not a fair-weather sport, and we can expect a little precipitation on Kilimanjaro caused by adiabatic cooling as the trade winds blow warm moist air in from the Indian Ocean.

Our route took us up the Falling Waters Trail, across the ridge on the Franconia Ridge Trail, and then down the Old Bridle Path. Brad Taylor and Jeff Goodell both made the 9:00 start, raring to go. These guys do most of their mountaineering in the winter on skis, and had done this route several times – skiing most of the way out.

Waterfalls beside the Falling Waters Trail

Cancer is ultimately a disease about people – those fighting the disease, those providing care, and those who have passed on. We conceived the Prouty Mountaineering Program with a very simple premise; honor those people.

Mountains are a very special place – particularly very high mountains. The beauty, the isolation and the simple elevation combine into a unique spiritual experience.

Our thesis in the Prouty Mountaineering Program is really simple – go climb the highest mountains that you can find, get to the top, and honor cancer survivors, care givers and the victims of the disease. On or around December 20th of this year we’ll have a team of 6 mountaineers to the top of Kilimanjaro to do just that.

We kicked off the yellow ribbon campaign on this hike with ribbons for Audrey Prouty – the inspiration for this event. We’ll gradually be working more yellow ribbons from supporters into photos over the course of the fall training hikes.


Wes on the Falling Waters Trail


Brad & Jeff on the summit of Lafayette

If you have someone that you would like to honor at the top of Kilimanjaro, please let me know who, how you would like them honored, and especially if mountains and natural beauty were important to them – to do this job right, it really helps to know the story (send to If you want to donate directly, please see the Prouty page at

Brad repairing a catastrophic boot failure at Greenleaf Hut

Please make a donation as you see fit – all amounts great and small are really appreciated. Anything that we can do to support people in active treatment we will try to accomplish – signs, poems songs – you name it. Amazingly, there is good cell service on areas of the mountain and we will get photos, audio and video out for the support of patients in active treatment ASAP.

Jeff & Wes in the rain between Lincoln and Lafayette

In the meantime, if you would like to come along on a Prouty prep hike, just drop me a line at the email above – we are out almost every weekend, and we really enjoy meeting new climbers.

Remember, it’s all about people.


All the Best from Kilimanjaro

Wes Chapman
Written by Wes Chapman

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