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Friends of the Whyte: Dr. Bill Hanlon

Updated: Feb 1

By Chic Scott

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Dr. Bill Hanlon is one of the Whyte Museum’s most loyal supporters. Born and raised in County Wexford in S.E. Ireland, he graduated from University College Cork as a physician in 1981.

Dr. Hanlon among the Kyrgyz of the Afghan Pamir.
Image 1

Bill came to Canada in 1985 and first practiced medicine in Hanna, Alberta. After a trip to the Elizabeth Parker Hut on cross-country skis he was hooked on mountains and since then he has devoted himself to exploring the high alpine and Polar regions of the world. Amongst his many achievements, he has climbed the seven highest summits on the seven continents, skied across Greenland, and has also skied to the South Pole.

Bill has lived and practiced medicine in Cochrane, Alberta, for many years, but his great passion has been to help people in need in high-altitude regions of the world. To this end, he has formed an NGO called Basic Health International which delivers health care in places such as Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, and Afghanistan. In recent years Bill has ventured into the farthest east regions of Afghanistan to bring basic health care to people here.

Bill also loves the old stories of exploration and adventure and has generously supported the Pushing the Limits Legacy Project at the Whyte Museum. A close friend of Glen Boles, a much-loved mountaineer and artist from Cochrane, Bill was a major supporter of the Fireside Chat film about the life of Boles.

Now retired, Bill spends much of his time at his cabin on the edge of Waterton Lakes National Park, where he can be found enjoying the wildflowers and bird song early on the summer mornings. In the winter he can be found backcountry skiing near Cameron Lake.

Thank you Bill for your generous support.

Learn more about the Pushing the Limits Legacy Project.


Image 1: Dr. Hanlon among the Kyrgyz of the Afghan Pamir.


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