Summit Talk
Alan Arnette Keynote Speaker

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Alan ArnetteGlobally Recognized Keynote Speaker

"... Your presentation was phenomenal and inspiring. Multiple attendees reached out afterwards to say thanks and how this was an unforgettable story and team builder. "

Sr. Manager, US Expert Tech, GSK
June 2023

Alan Arnette is a captivating speaker, passionate mountain climber, and committed advocate for Alzheimer's individuals and their families.

His public speaking is one of a kind experience for audiences from corporate to non-profit to education.

What is your mountain? A loved one with Alzheimer's? Are you running a business, raising your children, learning a language, reaching a quota, and breaking through an obstacle? Each of us has a challenging goal in our lives - and we all meet hurdles that seem impossible, that tests our resilience.

Alan's influential speaking brings a new approach to motivation. His casual yet powerful style brings audiences into his high-altitude mountaineering with incredible pictures, videos, and stories while connecting with them on a real-world basis. Audiences leave entertained, educated, and motivated.


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Alan's Approach to Speaking

Alan's mixture of his high-quality climbing photographs and videos, and his casual approach creates a comfortable environment for any audience. His ability to connect to each person with his speaking style and presence helps everyone become part of the event and take away something special.

He is not the standard speaker with a tightly memorized script. He interacts freely with his audience throughout the event, welcoming questions and comments. Audiences leave with a new sense of what it is like to be on the summit of Mt. Everest in the harshest conditions or to sit across from their parent as they slowly go away or deal with obstacles. Sponsors are pleased that their messages got through.

Alan customizes each presentation for the event's goals and audience with a deep commitment to every engagement and personally works with the team for a successful event.

The following video is of one of a presentation on behalf of Alzheimer's using his mountain climbing as the metaphor at the Circle of Care Conferences by the Alzheimer's Association of California & Nevada.

Keynote Presentations:

K2: Fighting for the Summit and Life

Designed for Corporate, Outdoor audiences; Alan ties his summit of K2 in July 2014 with the struggles and achievements of a seemingly impossible goal.

On his 58th birthday, Alan made history by becoming only the 18th and oldest American to summit the second highest mountain in the world, K2 in Pakistan. This unbelievable presentation has videos never before seen from K2 as Alan candidly talks about four times he had deadly go/no go decisions. He drew deep to find the strength to continue making the summit at 8:30 am with his team.

This presentation takes audiences through a journey of difficulty, doubts, challenges, obstacles, and eventually success, but Alan paid a price for his summit. Audiences are saying this is the best mountaineering talk ever, plus the lessons are timeless yet meaningful for today.

Lessons from Alzheimer's: From the Summit of Everest

Designed for Alzheimer's Caregivers, families or anyone impacted by this disease; Alan brings home the realities of Alzheimer's with his candid presentation about his mother's struggle.

The one-hour presentation starts with Alan introducing his mom, Ida, through a brief video and several poignant stories of how he and his family discovered she was sick with Alzheimer's and not simply aging. He talks about how it shook him to his core and compelled him to think in broad terms on how he could make a difference. As a result, he set the goal of climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, in just one year, to take a message of hope, need and urgency to people around the world that the current Alzheimer's environment was unacceptable and must change. Today, in 2020, the situation, while improved, remains unacceptable.

He then takes audiences through a whirlwind tour of all eight mountain climbs showing startling pictures, videos, and telling incredible stories that inspire the audience. He uses the questions of "Is it hard or impossible?" and the mantra of "1000 reason to stop and only 1 to go on" to ask audience members to consider their struggles, find hope, and push on each day despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He goes in-depth on climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest showing the audience amazing pictures and videos revealing the extreme conditions. His video of making a dedication to his mom from the summit brings the entire presentation into an emotional crescendo. He concludes with a series of funny videos and his thoughts on Alzheimer's journey with points about "If I knew then what I know now" and "What I would have done differently."

The address is ideal for an annual meeting or fundraising event.

PBS's My Generation featured Alan's 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything project. His Alzheimer's keynote presentations expand on the themes he discusses in the film.

Purpose and Passion: Making Your Mark on the World

Alan's high impact multimedia presentation for corporate audiences. What's your passion, your purpose? Alan's presentation takes audiences to the summit of Mt. Everest to answer these questions. Along the way, he shares his humorous and startling first-hand accounts of surviving a fall into a crevasse, extreme illness near the summit, and burying a teammate high on the mountain. Audiences consider these dilemmas: Is this hard, or is this impossible? Are you hurt, or are you hurting? And a 1000 reasons to stop and only 1 to go on.

Alan's Leadership presentation touches on these points:

  • understanding the challenge
  • staying focused on the goal
  • attention to the smallest detail
  • shared purpose
  • acknowledging contributions
  • staying motivated
  • commitment in tough times
  • overcoming obstacles
  • fact based decisions
  • learning from experience
  • leadership and followership
  • celebrating success

Alan summited Mt. Everest at 5:00 am on May 21, 2011, with Kami Sherpa of IMG. Alan uses this video in his presentations. Filmed by Panuru Sherpa, who climbed with Karim Mella, the first Dominican to summit Everest. At 56 seconds in the video, Alan is shown on the summit, making an audio dispatch to this website.

Learning by never giving up: Becoming an overnight success through a thousand failures

In this presentation designed for small business, entrepreneurs and anyone striving to build a business or meet a challenging goal, Alan takes his audience thru his flat-land youth in Memphis, Tennessee to the summit of Mt. Everest and then to become the oldest American to summit K2, the world's hardest peak, at age 58.

He emphasizes how he learned from every climb. He viewed each "non-summit" as a lesson and not as a failure. He learned to choose his partners carefully as well as his guides. He learned the hard way about making investments that failed to result in achievements. Halfway through his 37 climbs over 20 years, Alan refocused his efforts to serve others when his mom, Ida, died from Alzheimer's Disease. This event changed his life and propelled him to achieve summits he never dreamed possible.

  • Understanding and accepting the IMPACT of those in your life
  • Life BALANCE helps achieve the impossible
  • SURROUND yourself with the best in order to learn (and teach)
  • HIRE the best to minimize risk
  • Balance AMBITION with REALISM to progress faster
  • LEARNING from ‘Failure’ is the key to growth and learning
  • Knowing when to QUIT is a path to success
  • RECOGNIZING the need to CHANGE is the difference between success and failure
  • PUSHING the limits is the only way to break thru
  • Accepting REALITY is sometime hard but also the only way forward
  • LIFE LESSONS for learning to Never Give Up

Everest for KiDs

Alan takes his inspirational and educational Mt. Everest multimedia presentation and helps children of all ages learn about the culture, geography and opportunities of taking on a huge challenge like climbing Mt. Everest. His presentation of Everest for KiDs is used in school curriculums across the world today, and now Alan takes it on the road to present to schools. Teachers, parents, and administrators all agree that his ability to relate to the children is unique.

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Alan at the Alzheimers Association Conference October 2012


He took early retirement in 2007 from Hewlett-Packard to oversee the care of his mom as she entered the final stages of Alzheimer's. During his nearly 30 year career, his roles ranged from general management to marketing to R&D and sales. He uses this experience in his corporate Leadership Lessons from Mt. Everest presentations.

Alan began climbing at age 38 with a summit of Mont Blanc. Today, 2020, he has climbed many of the world's highest peaks, including the summit of Mt. Everest in 2011 at age 54. He has completed 38 major expeditions and summited all 54 of his Colorado 14ers, which is a surprise to his friends and family in Memphis, where he was born. Read more on Alan's mountaineering.

Alan shares his experiences through social media channels and on his website Sought out to comment on mountaineering and Alzheimer's events for global media outlets, Alan is a universally recognized expert. He is a regular contributor to Rock and Ice plus Outside Magazines on mountaineering subjects. His blog followers total over 3 million people.

Alzheimer's changed Alan's life when it took his mother, Ida, after a nine-year battle in 2009. It also has taken four of his aunts. Today he is an advocate for everyone impacted by this devastating disease through public speaking, website, and fundraising events. Read more about Alan and his mom's Alzheimer's.

In 2011, he completed the 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything® to raise $1M for research and increase Alzheimer's awareness. He partnered with the Cure Alzheimer's Fund, Alzheimer's Association, and the National Family Caregivers Association plus International Mountain Guides. The Alzheimer's Immunotherapy Program (AIP) of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. funded the campaign. Read more on the 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's

Today Alan is a professional speaker, climbing coach, Alzheimer's Advocate, journalist, and mountaineering. In 2014, Alan went to the summit of the world's 2nd highest peak, K2, at 28,215 (8611m) in Pakistan on July 27, his 58th birthday, making him the oldest and 19th American to summit the world's most difficult high-altitude mountain.


"... we are quite pleased with the end result and you were definitively
the best Keynote speaker the event ever had!"

John Clese
Director of Marketing, Abila, inc.

"What a wonderful presentation last evening!! The way you engage the audience and tell your story with Alzheimer's while describing your climbs is absolutely amazing! You are such a great advocate for our cause" Robyn Moore Chief Development Officer, Alzheimer's Association of Colorado

"We just completed the most amazing Caregiver Conference of the last nine years. The information we shared was vital, to both caregivers and their loved ones ... Personally, the most powerful speaker was Alan Arnette. He showed how he and his mother communicated with music and humor during the most devastating time of her disease process."Albert Chavez EdS, CFLE, Regional Director, Alzheimer's Association - Desert Southwest Chapter, Southern Nevada Region

"Thank you so very much for speaking at our senior living community. The response from those in attendance was extremely favorable. Your inspirational presentation was spellbinding for our audience of seniors. We appreciate your efforts in helping fight Alzheimer’s by getting the message out and by raising money to find a cure. You have made a difference in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s and we thank you." Jan Jones, Director of Marketing, Dayton Place and the Cottages at Dayton Place

Alan Speaking"Thanks for speaking to us! I'm still getting people coming up to me/texting/calling say how amazing you were. I think you inspired a good portion of my group (to do all kinds of things). So for that, I thank you." Robin, Alpha Kappa Psi, CU Boulder

"I thought it was fantastic. The girls were very impressed with the presentation and want to raise money for Alzheimer's. We all learned more than what can be taught in a classroom. Thanks for all you’ve done, not only for us, but for the world." Todd, Kentucky Educational Leader

"You are a gift to this world!!! I cannot begin to thank you for sharing your story with us at MorningStar of Applewood. I hope that through your efforts that great strides will be made in research,raising of funds and, of course,that ultimately that a cure for Alzheimer’s will be found.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kindness and generosity to me and to our community!"Marketing Director Morningstar Senior Living of Applewood

"I can't thank you enough for your time. Your stories and message will leave a long lasting impression on these students." - Jim, Hatboro-Horsham School District

"You were AWESOME! I had one caregiver tell me if the event had ended with your presentation she would have felt completely satisfied with the information she walked away with! You did an excellent job and really hit home with the audience." Susan Frederickson, Area Agency on Aging of the Permian Basin

"It was a great slideshow and very impressive how you compressed a year of climbs into a concise and to the point show. The pics were wonderful and the Alzheimer's information was very informative. Kristine and I came away really thinking about the disease, which is I'm sure is what you want people to take away from your presentation." - Brandon from the Vail 7 Summit presentation

"Thank you Alan. We very much enjoyed having you as part of our Symposium. Our managers certainly expanded their horizons by learning about the challenges you have dealt with and overcome." Jean Sammon, Training Coordinator - BLM National Training Center

“This is terrific!  I really think you have an incredible gift!”  - Glory Burns, Vice President, First Western Trust Bank

“Alan is one of the most genuine, authentic, sincere leaders I had the pleasure to work for. He struck a great balance between decisiveness, inspiration and analytical rigor.” – Morris Wallack, Director, Hewlett-Packard

“Thank you again for your great presentation last night. Your photos were just magnificent and now I can picture future references of the journey to Everest. Thank you so much for your efforts on behalf of the Alzheimer's Fund.  With the gruesome statistics of this disease, time is of the essence for all of us.” – Marianne Carter “

"Thank you for taking the time to call my students. They were mesmerized. I think they are all fascinated by what you are doing, and you are inspiring them." Anthony Garcia, Boltz Jr. High School

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Engagement Information

Alan lives in Colorado and can be reached at . He is available for individual presentations or multi-day workshops including team building, business consulting or individual coaching. More information about his climbing adventures with extensive pictures, videos and essays can be found on this site. Contact him today with any questions or ideas. He welcomes all engagements. He speaks to audiences from corporate to non-profits, government to education.

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Alan has extensive speaking and media experience. He speaks before large and small audience from 25 to 1,000, including virtual events over the Internet. Previous clients have included:


  • Abila Software
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Rouge Wave Software
  • Pfizer
  • REI
  • SOL Marketing
  • Alzheimer's Association
  • Alzheimer's Disease International (London)
  • Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
  • Benefis Health Systems
  • European Alzheimer's Conference (Poland)
  • Leading Edge Connecticut
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Pathways Hospice
  • Sutter Memorial Medical Centre
  • American Alpine Club
  • Nepal Tourism Board (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • Neptune Mountaineering
  • Vale Symposium
  • Entrepreneur Organization
  • dZi foundation
  • Himalayan Stove Project
  • Kiwanis
  • New York Council of Nonprofits
  • Rotary
  • Tennessee Society of Association Executives
  • Colorado State University
  • Lyndon State College
  • Oregon State University
  • Yale University
  • US Fish & Wildlife - National Interagency Fire Center
  • US Bureau Land Management


TV/CABLE/RADIO (live and Taped)
  • AARP (documentary appearance)
  • ABC
  • ABC (Australia)
  • BBC (UK)
  • CBC (Canada)
  • CBS
  • CNN
  • CTV (Canada)
  • Discovery Channel
  • FOX (quoted, interviewed and editorial)
  • Weather Channel (Documentary appearance)
  • Outside Online (quoted, interviewed and editorial)
  • NPR (TV Interview)
  • AFP
  • Atlantic
  • Economist (UK)
  • Dein SPIEGEL (German)
  • Guardian (UK)
  • National Geographic
  • New York Times
  • Men's Journal
  • Outside Magazine (quoted, interviewed and editorial)
  • Rock and Ice (quoted, interviewed and editorial)
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post

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