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Adventurers Giving Back

  • 06:00 PM
  • 970-476-0954

Adventurers Giving Back

Unlimited Adventure

with Alan Arnette, George Basch, Luis Benitez and Ellen Miller moderated by Pamela Johnston

March 8, 2018

Donovan Pavilion | Vail

Sure, traveling around the world making first ascents and exploring new places is cool. However, for these travelers, adventuring flowed into “giving back.” From climbing high for Alzheimer Disease awareness to furnishing fireplaces in Nepal, this evening’s panel discussion, moderated by Pamela Johnston, is all about how some of life’s greatest adventures come after the records have been set.
Alan Arnette, Project 8000 for Alzheimer’s
The 18th and oldest American to summit K2 at age 58 in 2014, Alan Arnette is an Alzheimer’s advocate and passionate climber who has reached more than 50 million people and raised close to $300,000 for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) research in honor of his mother with his Project 8000 for Alzheimer’s. With summits of Everest, K2 and Manaslu under his belt, Arnette is planning to attempt the 11 mountains above 8000 meters (26,247 feet), he has not yet summited. If successful, he would only be the second American and 35th person to climb all 14 of the 8000-meter mountains.



George Basch, Himalayan Stove Project
George Basch (aka “Curious George”) has circled the globe as an adventurer, explorer, photographer and a creative entrepreneurial businessman. He is the founder of the nonprofit Himalayan Stove Project, an organization dedicated to preserving the Himalayan environment and improving the health of the people living there. The project provides clean-burning, fuel-efficient cookstoves as replacements to traditional stoves or open-fire pits which cause unsafe levels of indoor air pollution and use excess fuel, and has, as of late 2017, delivered almost 5,000 stoves. Coupled with emergency Earthquake Relief work in 2015, his organization has impacted more than 40,000 people in Nepal since 2012.


Luis Benitez, Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry
Eagle resident Luis Benitez is a mountain guide, motivational speaker and now serves as the first director of the newly created Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, serving as an advocate for the state’s bustling outdoor industry. Benitez’s credentials cover nearly every aspect of the outdoor world, having scaled the highest points on each continent a total of 32 times. He previously served as director of the Colorado Outward Bound School and the Rocky Mountain Region of Outward Bound Professionals, which he said instilled a tremendous service ethic: If you can contribute, then you do contribute.
Ellen Miller, Climb for Literacy
A Vail Valley resident for more than 20 years, Ellen Miller is a USATF Certified Level 2 Endurance/Athletic Coach and works as an Outdoor Fitness Coach in the Vail Valley and is the Coach/Manager of the US Women’s Mountain Running Team. She was the first American woman to climb Mt. Everest from both sides, Nepal and Tibet, in addition to climbing other Himalayan 8000-meter peaks: Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Manaslu. She’s the founder of The Climb for Literacy, a local grassroots event involving young climbers that raises awareness and funds for literacy in the Vail Valley, and she created and directed the Vail Mountain Winter Uphill Race/Hike as a 100 percent fundraiser to support young athletes in mountain/trail running.
Presented in partnership with the Vail Public Library

Note: the doors will open at 5:30 p.m.; the program will begin at 6 p.m.

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