If you’re a Colorado climber, you likely know the name Alan Arnette of Fort Collins. Arnette, who summited Mount Everest in 2011, is getting back in the climbing game after he was blown off a trail in 2017, breaking his leg in three places. He is about to return to Nepal for yet another climb. This time, it’s for his mom, Ida.
“My mom never really understood my mountain climbing,” he said. “I didn’t start mountain climbing until I was 38 years old.”
Since then, he has climbed the two tallest mountains on Earth, plus many more. He became the oldest American to summit K2, at the age of 58.
But that trajectory changed when a 100 mph gust of wind on Twin Sisters cartwheeled him head over tail in the rocks. He broke his tibia and fibula in three places.
“It crossed my mind that maybe it was time to stop,” he said. “That experience has proven to be a gift in my life. It allowed me to reach more people than I ever thought I could reach. Telling a story of what was potentially a negative and turning it into a positive.”