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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Apr 072017
Broken Leg Update: Two Months Out

I broke my leg in four places and smashed my nasal cavity eight weeks ago today when a wind gust shoved me violently off my feet and into a rock field on Twin Sisters Peak. Jim Davidson, SAR teams plus Rangers from RMNP demonstrating the highest levels of knowledge, professionalism and compassion got me to hospitals where after two surgeries, I am now recovering. My last update was four weeks ago so time for another update. I am physically healing, yet I struggle with dark thoughts.  As I fall asleep many nights, I hear the phrase “I don’t want to be in the rocks.” When I continue reading

Mar 102017
Broken Leg Update: One Month Out

It was four weeks ago to the minute that a wind gust tossed me around like a piece of paper on Twin Sisters Peak. A heroic effort by my climbing partner, Jim Davidson, SAR teams plus Rangers from RMNP got me to hospitals where after two surgeries, I am now recovering at home. Wow, what a journey. I have had plenty of time to reflect on the experience but I’m not finished processing the event. I still have trouble sleeping and hear the phrase “I don’t want to be in the rocks.” in my mind at random times. And I am continue reading

Mar 012017
Broken Leg: I Don't Want to be in the Rocks

A quick story for those with busy lives. Two friends, Alan Arnette and Jim Davidson, were hiking along a path when the wind blew Alan over and he broke his leg. Jim called 911 and a bunch of people came and got Alan. Today Alan is home and is getting better. The End. While that may be what happened, there are a few more details I (Alan) can add. 🙂 The trail we were on was like a well worn shoe. We were training for something big, much bigger – 18,000 feet higher and on the other side of the world. With little continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving

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Nov 242016
Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends who are celebrating this American holiday. This year, 2016, is a bit special for some happy and sad reasons. Living in Colorado, late November sees bare trees and usually snow on the ground. But this year, the ground is as bare as the tree branches. It has been warm and dry. However, the mountains are finally getting snow and the ski resort are celebrating! It’s almost time for me to don the crampons and hit some vertical ice. I am thankful for all my friends – close and far away. Today is the first continue reading

Nov 092016
A New US President

For my US Followers: Your choice of President not winning is not the end of the world even if it does not align with your values or beliefs. Similarly, your candidate winning does not endorse your judgment as infallible. I am old enough to remember when Reagan was elected and Democrats thought the lack of social programs would end the American Dream. The stock market rose 54%. I remember when Clinton was elected and Republicans feared regulations designed to protect the poor would hurt the economy. The stock market rose 150%. And when Obama was elected, some believed the American continue reading

Aug 162016
7 Years after Ida's Death

Today, I am climbing Mt. Ida, 12889′ in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a perfect peak to honor my mom, Ida, who died from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) on August 16 2009. Over 5.3 million have AD just in the U.S. alone, and an estimated 47 million worldwide. It is the sixth leading cause of all deaths in the United States, and the fifth leading cause of death in Americans aged 65 and older. Whereas other major causes of death have been on the decrease, deaths attributable to AD have been rising dramatically.8 Between 2000 and 2006, heart-disease deaths decreased nearly 12%, stroke continue reading

Jul 262016
Turning 60 - A Look Back

At 6:24 am July 27, 1956 Ida and James Arnette named their new son Alan. Now on July 27, 2016, 60 years later that same human is climbing Longs Peak, the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park to fulfill his passion of climbing and his purpose of raising awareness and research funds for Alzheimer’s – which took his mother, Ida, and three aunts – Chris, Kay and Carolyn. Oh my, what a journey! At 20, I thought how old 60 would be. Now at 60, I think how young 20 was and how much I have learned. As I continue reading

Jun 172016
A Father's Day Memory - Climbing, Alzheimer's and Regrets

I walked over to my Dad, sitting in ‘his’ chair in the home where my brother and I were raised from the 1950s. Mom sat quietly in ‘her’ chair across the living room. Ken sat on the couch. I got on my knees to make direct eye contact with him. “Dad, you know Mom is sick and needs 24 hour care” I said gently knowing she was listening but not really understanding. We knew something was wrong with Mom but had no idea it was Alzheimer’s. Dad got the 1,000 yard stare and nodded his head, as tears welled up in continue reading

Jun 052016
The Climber's Depression Abyss

Christine, 84 years young came up to me after a recent talk I gave on my K2 summit in 2014, both a success and an epic. “I don’t understand.” She said shaking her head in a bit of disapproval. I simply replied “I understand that you don’t understand.” With that, I expect only a handful of my readers to understand this post. You summit the mountain of your dreams. You did it in style with great friends or teammates. Everything was perfect. You come home excited, full of energy and then it hits … your emotions drop like a rock in a still continue reading

May 212014
I am proud to be called a Climber

On May 21, shop 2011 at 5:30am, I stood on the summit of Mt. Everest. I felt small, tiny, and insignificant as I watched the sun rise over the world’s tallest peaks. I felt grateful as I hugged a down covered Kami Sherpa (Ang Chhiring Sherpa – Pangboche). I felt immense joy and relief as I heard my wife, Cathy’s, voice on the satellite phone. I felt sadness and inspiration as I dedicated the summit to my mom, Ida, and the millions of Alzheimer’s s and their caregivers around the world.   Standing on the summit of Everest, provided fuel continue reading