Bill Foege: Another mountain to climb pg. 7
And then there’s always one more mountain to climb.
In 1997, at the age of 61 and three years after receiving a hip replacement, Foege tackled a life-long goal, to climb 19,500-foot-tall Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Accompanied by Paula and their three adult sons, he trudged slowly upward until—about 1,000 feet from the summit—they stopped to pitch their tents. That night as the water particles from their labored breathing formed ice crystals on the top of the tent, Paula turned to her husband. “You’d better be having a good time,” she said.
Foege smiled. Of course he was having a good time.
Years later this is one of his fondest memories. Yes, it was freezing and hard to breathe, but it also was a good challenge, the kind of challenge that can truly be savored by a man who helped defeat smallpox.