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Alan Arnette: I climbed Mount Everest at 54 – Here’s what’s really happening on the world’s highest peak

If you read recent headlines, anyone who climbs Mount Everest barely makes it up, leaves trash and is a rich, selfish narcissist who comes home to brag about how easy it was and how they did it better than anyone else. Well, a couple of these points are true but it paints a misleading image of what’s really happening on the world’s highest mountain.

This spring 11 people lost their lives while climbing Everest. Their families are grieving instead of joining the celebrations of the 700 other climbers who summited safely.

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, elevation 338-feet above sea level. I camped out as an Eagle and Boy Scout and fell in love with mountains on a family vacation to Colorado. As an adult, I moved to Colorado and later to Switzerland for my job and climbed some of the most famous peaks in the Alps. But I never dreamed that I would summit Everest, much less her tougher little sister, K2.