Obituary: Allison Kreutzen
Allison Kreutzen, 41, of Tahoe City, CA, was tragically killed with her boyfriend, Kip Garre, in an avalanche on Split Mountain in the eastern Sierra on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Kreutzen worked as an ER nurse at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, CA. She was an accomplished skier, climber, kayaker, ultra runner and mountain biker, earning herself the reputation as a highly skilled and respected extreme athlete in mountain communities in the western United States.
Allison recently returned to her longtime home in North Lake Tahoe in 2009 after living for several years in the Ridgway/Telluride areas of Colorado. Although her athletic achievements were impressive and numerous, she was known to downplay her accomplishments, some of which include: First woman to free climb Patagonia’s Central Tower of Paine in Chile; running 250-miles of the John Muir trail in five days; finishing the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run in under 24 hours, taking fourth place among women; and climbing El Capitan (and other Yosemite walls).
Allison will be most remembered, though, for her compassion and kindness, expressed in her hallmark smile, generosity of spirit, and ability to engage and connect with all children (who found her intoxicatingly enchanting). Her natural beauty and sense of unique, personal style garnered her the nickname and#8220;Glitter Girl.and#8221; It was not unusual to see her adorned in sequins and sparkles atop remote peaks in the Sierra, Rockies, Alps, Patagonia, Alaska or even Mongolia.
She was admired for her zeal for life and deep love of the mountains. She had recently found joy in her relationship with 38-year old Garre, who had a similar playful, creative side.
Allison was born in San Francisco in 1969. She grew up skiing in the Sierra where her family spent vacations, weekends and holidays throughout her childhood. She attended Chico State University earning a BA in Recreation Management. She later returned to school for a nursing degree at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV. Kreutzen is survived by parents Dick and Sharon Kreutzen of Ridgway, Colorado, and bothers Jeff and Tim Kreutzen, both of San Francisco.
A memorial honoring both Allison and Kip is scheduled for Thursday, May 5, 2011, at 2 p.m., at the Olympic Valley Lodge in Olympic Valley, CA. In lieu of and#8220;open mike,and#8221; guests are encouraged to prepare a piece of art work, poetry and/or written account of a favorite memory for each of the deceased on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and bring to the event. These will be displayed at the memorial, and bound later for the family. Donations can be made in Allison’s name to the following organizations: Girls on the Run: http://www.girlsontherunsierras.org, and the Eastern Sierra Land Trust: http://www.easternsierralandtrust.org.