First Snow – Mt. Moosilauke – with the Kilimanjaro Team

First Snow – Mt. Moosilauke – with the Kilimanjaro Team

Prouty Logo

First Snow – Mt. Moosilauke – with the Kilimanjaro Team

4,802 ft. 7 miles

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

October 15, 2012

Wes Chapman

Moose Mountain from Holt’s Ledge


Martha Chapman with Baby and Kate on Holt’s Ledge – a warm-up hike for Moosilauke, then Kilimanjaro

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 Saturday Martha agreed to take me along on a warm-up hike up the mighty Dartmouth Skiway – getting prepared for a hike up Moosilauke the next day. The weather on Sunday was as ugly as you can imagine, but Kelly Michaelsen from the Kilimanjaro team joined me for the hike up Moosilauke via the Glen Cliff Trail.

Kelly is in great shape, and tolerated my relatively slow pace up the Hill. We hit snow at about 3,000 feet, and were the first ones on the summit for the day. On the way back down we encountered a Monarch butterfly, alive but nearly frozen on its trip south. We also bumped into the Dartmouth ski coach, planning to wait for the team at the top – these young guys routinely run up in weather fair or foul.

A monarch butterfly blown off course

Moosilauke near the summit – a nasty day

Kelly on a breezy summit

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 continue 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 Chapman enjoying the fresh air

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

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.

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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