He has ascended the highest peaks on all seven continents and walked to both the North and South Poles. He has also led expeditions to 15 unmapped, unexplored mountains in Greenland and also in Patagonia, Mountains of the Moon, the Sahara Desert, and the Thar Desert of India.
Cross has lived with type-1 diabetes for over 30 years. He manages his diabetes in the most extreme conditions, while facing challenges such as irregular meals; extreme temperatures; unusual sleeping patterns; physical exertion; high risks of frostbite and dehydration; and other less than ideal conditions in which to monitor glucose levels and administer insulin. He also works as a motivational speaker and seeks to get out the message that if he can control his diabetes in the most unlikely conditions, no one should feel hindered by diabetes.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Allegheny College, a Master of Science in Education from Duquesne University, and Secondary Principal’s Certification from the University of Pittsburgh, where he specialized in educational programs for troubled teens. Will, his wife Amy, and their 6 children live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He is a member of the American Alpine Club, Royal Geographical Society, Explorers Club, and the American Mountain Guides Association. He received a Gold Congressional Award for exemplary service to the United States, granted for his initiative, achievement, and service.
He made headlines for attempting to summit Everest in 2005 despite having to deal with Type one diabetes, and he had also tried to summit in 2004. However, on these first two expeditions he did not reach the summit even though he did learn about mountaineering and Mount Everest.
Other peaks he has summited:
- Denali (Mount McKinley)
- List of Mount Everest summiters by number of times to the summit
- List of Mount Everest records
- Geri Winkler
- David Templeton (2008). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Adventurer with diabetes prepares for another mountain climb. Retrieved March 31, 2008.