Think your goals are big? Wisconsin dairy veterinarian Lance Fox, DVM, accomplished his goal of climbing Mt. Everest, all the while deworming yaks for the local Sherpas along the way.

Fox, now a technical services veterinarian for Diamond V, climbed Everest in 2009 and recently published a book “No Place But UP!” about what led him to this spectacular feat that few others have done. Two life events spurred his ascent to Everest – the early death of his father from Hodgkins lymphoma, and then the premature birth of his son, both which demonstrated to him the fragility of life.

A cheesehead on Everest


True to a veterinarian’s nature, he also used his experience to help the local population by deworming yak herds. “To be able use my skills as a bovine practitioner in the states by helping a culture (Sherpa) promote the health and well-being of their beloved yaks, in turn positively impacting the peoples' livelihood, is hard to describe in words,” Fox told Bovine Veterinarian.  

“I was deep in the Himalayas the first time in 2009 to climb Mount Everest and work with the yaks. I returned in 2011 to expand the work on the yaks. During the 2010 climbing season on Everest numerous Sherpa had been asking, ‘Where is the yak doctor?’ Hearing that reinforced why I needed to return in 2011 and why I plan on going back again to work on their animals.”

At the time of his first visit in 2009, animal health companies Alpharma and Intervet/Schering-Plough provided financial assistance as well as donations of SafeGuard cattle dewormer. For future trips to work with yaks, Fox says Animart and Pfizer Animal Health are donating product for him to share with the Sherpa people.

And true to his Wisconsin nature, he has a photograph of himself on Everest wearing a Wisconsin cheesehead hat.A cheesehead on Everest

What’s next for this mountain-climbing, yak-deworming, veterinarian cheesehead? “My single greatest hope is not just allow people to see and hear what it is like to climb to the highest point on our planet, but rather what it is like to pursue a dream with passion,” Fox says. “Everyone has their own ‘Everest.’  I hope my book and public presentations will inspire my audiences to go after their dreams and to overcome adversity.”  

Climb on, Lance, climb on.

You can order Fox's book here. Read more about Lance Fox here.