Next week, Hance will be traveling to the Wapta Icefield, located on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. In October, shortly after his 50th birthday, he will leave for Nepal. He also will get to meet world-class alpinist Ueli Steck.
“He is the Lance Armstrong of climbing,” Hance said.
The South Base Camp of Mount Everest in Nepal is located at 17,000 feet. The trek to the South Base Camp is traveled by thousands each year.
Leaving from Kathmandu, it usually takes eight days to get there, including a couple of days of rest to get acclimated to the altitude.
The journey is famous for its spectacular mountain peaks. Supplies are carried by local sherpas or porters with the help of animals, usually yaks, but it still will be arduous.
“This is an ancient pathway that the Nepalese people have been using for years,” Hance said. “You don't have to climb hand over hand and crawl but it is a strenuous activity in that air that is considerably thinner. There is a considerable elevation gain that is required.”
A former scoutmaster for Boy Scouts Troop 162 in Oklahoma City, Hance calls Mount Everest “the granddaddy of all mountains.”
“The incredible thing about this is the ancient society, the huge, gigantic mountains that are there and the fact it is the top of the world,” he said. “Everest itself is the tallest location on Earth. Getting to witness where that mountain is just an incredible privilege.
“It's going to be a great adventure.”