A Lassiter High School alumnus is planning a trip of a lifetime in which he intends to climb the highest peaks of the world’s seven continents in under a year.
Troy Hanson, a Los Angeles entrepreneur with an adventurous streak, described himself as an amateur climber who is attempting to do something only a handful of climbing professionals have accomplished. In the process, he plans to raise $1 million for various charities.
The 171 Challenge is scheduled this week to name the charities, which will include one benefiting cancer research and another supporting a food program for underprivileged students.
“It started out to be sort of a selfish endeavor, meaning I just wanted to climb the mountains and then it turned into this big charity fundraiser,” Hanson said. “I want to inspire people to realize life is short and that there are a lot of things to do on this Earth. There’s no time like the present.”
In August, Hanson will begin his journey at Russia’s Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. Afterward, he will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which is expected to take up to seven days. Next will be Carstensz Pyramid, the highest peak in Oceania.
Hanson will then travel to Antarctica’s Vinson Massif, which is named after late Georgia U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, a supporter of Antarctic research. After that will be Argentina’s Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere.
Legendary Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain located in Asia, will follow. Approximately 4,000 people have climbed Everest and about 200 have died since the success of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Hanson plans to end his year-long journey at Mount McKinley, or Denali, in Alaska.
A 1988 Lassiter graduate, Hanson attended Georgia Southern University for a while before he loaded up his sport utility vehicle and moved to Los Angeles in 1999. There, his WorldMedia LA company produces charity golf tournaments. His parents, Dan and Jean, live in Woodstock.
At age 42, Hanson is no stranger to adventure. His favorite hobbies include scuba diving and racecar driving.
The decision to do something as drastic as climb the world’s highest summits was sparked last year by a bad break up and the death of British racecar driver Dan Wheldon, who was a mentor and close friend, Hanson said.
“I just realized life is pretty short,” he said.
Hanson said his preparations for the adventure have included six days each week of gym training and several climbing seminars. He will climb alongside professional mountain guides.
“It’s mental and physical, not to mention the fact of the extremes we’re going to be in,” he said. “The campaign is called 171, which means one man, seven summits and one year.”
To donate or follow Troy Hanson on his 171 Challenge, visit www.171challenge.com.
(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, July 23, 2012. Written by Marcus E Howard. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Adventurer hopes to see 7 summits in 1 year)