Alzheimer’s and Alan and All We Can Do…K2 Style

I love the mountains. In some ways I think it is because I know so little about them. My mind yearns to understand the hugeness, the velocity of their formation and the impact they have on weather here, there and everywhere. Growing up in the Pacific North West afforded me the all to often taken for granted luxury of seeing big mountain wherever I looked. My favorite mountain growing up was Mount Baker. This is the view I remember from years of staying a my grandparents’ fishing resort on Baker Lake. Tarr’s Resort it was called.

Baker Lake

Mt. Baker from Baker Lake, WA

I hiked all over these forests in the shadow of the mountain throughout my youth. It started my life long interest in mountains and the people who climb them.


Ida and Alan

After my 2012 trek to the base of Mt Everest, a co-worker who works with senior programs told me that a man who had climbed Mt. Everest was speaking to seniors here in Vegas.  I took note and then looked him up to see if she had the info right. Boy did she. It was Alan Arnette, a tireless worker for the eradication of Alzheimer’s as well as accomplished mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits (The tallest peak on each continent) and an impressive list of summits and attempts beyond that including such wonders as Ama Dablam, Cho Oyo, Lobuche East, Ben Nevis, Mt. Blanc and on and on. Add to that countless fourteeners in his back yard in Colorado. Clearly a man who loves the mountains and the challenges they pose, he has something he works harder, longer and more passionately on than any one of those climbs. The eradication of Alzheimer’s.  His beloved mother, Ida, suffered with this disease and he has worked tirelessly to see that funds are raised to rid us of this thing. Recently, Alan announced that he was going to climb K2. One of the, if not the most dangerous, difficult climbs on the planet. He is doing it to continue the fight against Alzheimer. I am excited to say that I have joined his team as a fundraiser. He is looking to raise 1 million dollars for the cause. Now listen to me here…HE DOES NOT EARN ANYTHING OF THE FUNDS HE HELPS RAISE! He has linked up with very reputable organizations in order to bring in money that will be used for research and eradication, not climbing. So when the chance to join in and be a team leader was presented to me I jumped on the chance!


K2: 21,251 feet high

I am a team captain. My team is “In Memory of Alida: K2 Climb Against Alzheimer’s”. Join with me and help raise that money. Every breath Alan takes in preparation for his climb and while he is on K2 is about ending Alzheiner’s and not about him. That is the kind of guy he is. Click the link here and you can join my team and we can all help. From the least amount to the greatest, every single individual penny counts. Just like every single individual memory does. Our minds are as huge and powerful as the great mountains of the world. They do so many things that are just amazing. But when they start to malfunction because of a disease that just has to have a cure, we are all vulnerable and we can all try to do something.


Karen and her Grandmother Alida Ida Tarr. Diagnosed in the early 90’s, passed in 2005. But it started much earlier.


The picture above is my grandmother. One of the sweetest women who graced the planet. She was smart and funny and she, along with my grandfather, ran that little fishing resort where I first found my love of the mountains. Where Mt Baker called out to me every one of those wonderful Pacific Northwest Days. I don’t know what I would do without those memories.

About WhelanTrek

The mountains are in my blood and Everest has been a symbol to so many areas of my life. I blog about adventures and life in between.

Posted on May 19, 2014, in Alzheimer's and K2, Climbing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Don Carmignani

    A worthy trek indeed!


  2. Hey, I’m a complete stranger. But something about what you said (and how u said) makes me wanna believe in the cause and truly want to support you guys. Best of luck with the climb and for raising awareness. I’ll do my bit by clicking the link 🙂


  3. I loved tart’ resort. I remember going there with my grandparents when we were small every summer we go there for a week and stay in one of the camper cabins all the way at the top by the barn it was an awesome place I loved it my grandparents a new Mr. and Mrs. tarr. We had such good times I have very fond memories of that resort I don’t live in Washington state anymore I live in Tennessee but that resort will always be the best childhood memories that I have thank you for posting I’m glad you put a picture of Mr. tarr and the main cabin it brings back memories


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