Dale Lantzer from Kalkaska Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro after Several Setbacks
Dale Lantzer lives in Kalkaska and is a mountaineer, always seeking adventure, falling in love with climbing a few decades ago.
“I’ve done all the major volcanoes on the West Coast, Mount Whitney, and probably 40 mountains in Glacier National Park climbed in Colorado and Utah all over,” explained Dale Lantzer.
At age 65, with years of mountaineering under his belt, Lantzer h
as dealt his fair share of setbacks, from two knee surgeries to the most recent shoulder injury.
“I was on an approach to a mountain climb, and I slipped on a river crossing and tore my rotator cuff,” said Lantzer. “The rest of the two-week vacation and climbing, I only had one arm to climb with, which is difficult for a mountain climber.”
Dr. Henry Goitz, an orthopedic and sports medicine surgeon out of the Detroit Medical Center, is Lantzer’s Doctor. He says Lantzer had a very large tear, close to what they consider a massive tear.
This wasn’t going to stop Lantzer. He already had a trip planned to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
“He had a lot of pain and function loss, so both of those had to be regained to make the trip,” said Dr. Goitz.
After a few months, Lantzer took on Mount Kilimanjaro.
“I had nothing but doubts. I was really nervous climbing. Not many people my age that attempt something in that altitude” said Lantzer.
But lantzer did it, reaching the summit with his family after eight days of climbing.
“We were probably a couple of thousand feet above the clouds. The clouds were all orange and pink,” explained Lantzer. “When we reached the summit ridge, we could see like almost all of Africa, 360 view. We could see over the Serengeti Plains, and it was just incredible.”
Lantzer is proving you are only as old as you think.
“He is a motivation for those who want to do something,” said Dr. Goitz. “That’s why I love what I do. I’m not sure I’m ever going to stop because it’s fun. It’s fun to see people like this do these things.”
Lantzer’s next climbing adventure is back to Glacier National Park this summer.