One of my favorite stories to follow over the past year or so has been Alan Arnette’s ongoing quest to scale the Seven Summits. Alan has always done an excellent job of writing about his adventures and his ability to convey a good story has allowed us all to feel like we’ve joined him on those mountains. Now, with seven of the eight peaks behind him, and only the elusive Denali off his list, Alan has settled down to talk about his efforts to not only climb the tallest mountain on each continent, but also help raise funds to support a cure for Alzheimer’s as well.
Yesterday, the good folks over at Outdoor Pros posted an excellent interview with Alan, in which he discusses a number of aspects of his climbs. He talks about the challenges of the Seven Summits, including the easiest and most challenging of those peaks. He also shares his favorite mountain that isn’t on that list, the dangers that come with climbing, and the one piece of gear that he takes with him on any expedition. Alan also offers insights into how he prepared for those climbs (hint: with more climbing!) and how he mentally and physically prepares for the challenges.
Perhaps most compelling however is why he climbs. For those not familiar with his story, Alan retired early from a great career with Hewlett Packard to take care of his mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Over the next three years, he watched as her memory and mind deteriorated, and when she finally succumbed to the horrible affliction, Alan vowed that he would do all he could to help find a cure. The fact that he is doing it while climbing some of the world’s most iconic peaks is just pure bonus.
This is an excellent read and well worth a look for those who want to learn more about climbing on big expeditions.
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