The Adventurous Life

First thanks to the many movie buffs who enjoyed the screening of North Face: the Movie at the American Mountaineering Center last night. I think we’d all agree that, while the trailer was very exciting, it didn’t come close to revealing the scope of the film. As mountaineers we understand the drive and the dangers of undertaking the Nordwand, and the film’s absolute accuracy of everything from the hardware to the rock to the brotherhood of the rope brought the tragedy that much closer to our own experiences. The tension in the auditorium was palpable, and everyone from this blogger to the last viewer exiting the auditorium left with a somber and respectful demeanor. This is a film not to be missed by anyone, particularly those who seek a film about alpinism that finally does it justice. Enough with Sylvester Stallone’s poor climbing technique and space age bolt gun.

That being said, if you have your own dream to fulfill, join the Museum staff Wednesday, February 3rd, at 7 PM for a presentation by Jeff Blumenfeld based on his book You Want to Go Where? Jeff is the Go-to Guy for adventure marketing ideas and will offer success stories of previous adrenaline junkies on top of proven means by which to find sponsorship and grant monies for your own Nordwand. Stop by after 5:30 and enjoy the museum as part of the admission price ($3 for members, $5 for non-members, free to Friends of the Museum and AAC Library). Books will be available for purchase at the event.

It’s time also to get that book read for the next AAC Library Book Club Fight Club salon, Tuesday, February 9, at 6 PM. James Tabor’s Forever on the Mountain chronicles the doomed 1967 attempt to summit Denali. Only 5 of the 12 man team survived and, as with many expeditions, tempers and winter conditions flared leading to disastrous consequences. As host for PBS’s Great Outdoors, Tabor’s ability to blend investigative journalism with out-and-out good storytelling makes this book hard to put down. Copies of his book are still available in the Base Camp Adventure Store.

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. St. Augustine 354-430 AD.

The adventurous life is an endless one. The beauty of it lies, for many, not in the attainment of it but the process of discovering ourselves through adversity and challenge and who we are when we return home. We seek wisdom through others’ narratives and thus better understand the magic of our own waking hours.

And every one of them is an adventure.


You Want to Go WHERE?

Ever wonder how some folks just seem to have all the luck? They get to go anywhere in the world, do incredibly inspiring and daredevil things, don’t pay a cent for it, then get speaking engagements around the world?

Repeat after me. Adventure Marketing. And the guru of said PR style, Jeff Blumenfeld, will reveal the simple secrets of success. YOUR success. Right here at the American Mountaineering Museum.

Considering extreme ironing while strapped to the wing of a 747 at 35,000 feet? Maybe not so much. But is there a first-of-something out there that you’ve been trying to make work? A feat that, if successful, sets an example to other dreamers, armchair and active alike? Tests your skills, stretches your limits and proves that It Can Be Done?

Then Jeff B. is your man. Based on his book of the above title, you’ll get a line-item description of how to plan, fund, and execute your own trip and do it with grants and scholarships.

Sound sweet? Remember, 2010 is the Year to Do It All. Get the scoop with Jeff and followers at the American Mountaineering Museum Wednesday, February 3rd. Noms at 5:30 in the lobby of the AMM, presentation begins at 7 PM in the Foss Auditorium. It’s $5 for non-members, $3 for members, and free to friends of both the Museum and the AAC Library. And if you haven’t seen the Museum yet, admission is included with the ticket price from 5:30 PM on.

Come on. What’s holding you back?


(Not So) Terrible Twos

We’ve started the year with a bang, that’s for certain. And it’s exciting to note that the museum’s second anniversary is coming up in less than a month! Like a child all of a sudden growing up, we’re wondering where the time went but doubly excited at the growth we’re going to see in 2010.

And there’s no time like the present to celebrate. Thirsty 3rd Thursday will become Thirsty 3rd FRIDAY on February 19th and we’re pulling out all the stops. Beginning at 5:30 PM we’ll offer the usual Thursday fare: $2 brews, snacks, acoustic music and lots of giveaways. Museum admission, as always, is free and at this event come and meet some of the distinguished mountaineers highlighted in our exhibits. We’ve a group of dedicated volunteers busily studying folks like Albert Ellingwood, George Mallory, Jim Whitaker, and Pete Schoening in order to become knowledgeable interactive performers, and I know who’s playing Arlene Blum….

We’ll also be honoring all those very generous supporters who helped make the museum possible from it’s conception. Join us for this very special evening of celebrating the (Not So) Terrible Twos at the American Mountaineering Museum.

While we’re mentioning Thirsty 3rd Thursday if you haven’t already made plans tonight join us for the usual Thursday fare starting at 5:30 PM. NOAA says the weather is holding off until tomorrow so it’s a good night to be out and about!

Next week is another big one for the Museum. The Avalanche Awareness clinic cancelled January 6th due to inclement conditions is rescheduled for Wednesday, January 27th, at 7 PM. The Museum will open after 5:30 PM and admission is included with the event price.

Hang on to your gris-gris for the free screening of North face: the Movie Friday, January 29th at 6 PM. It’s opening night across the US and there’s already Eigerwand-sized excitement about it. Recommend arriving early to claim a seat in the Foss as we think this is going to be a big one.

Wait, there’s more. Wednesday, February 3rd, Jeff Blumenfeld will be here as part of the sPEAKer series presenting his favorite topic You Want to go WHERE? If you have a dream project with a purpose and need to heed the calling, Jeff will help explain how to garner funding and support. Remember, in 2010 anything’s possible! Slide show and discussion begins at 7 PM preceded by a Museum reception at 5:30 PM.

We hope you’re as breathless about the next few weeks at the AMM as we are with planning and preparations. The little Mountaineering Museum in Golden is growing up and fast.


North Face Comes to Golden!

Film Trailers by Filmtrailer.com

The buzz is out about a film that’s premiered in Europe and is finally landing in the US. North Face: the Movie is receiving rave reviews for its realism in story-telling and action. For a mountaineering film to get those accolades from real mountaineers, not actors playing it up, is something to sit up and take notice.

The Eiger is no stranger to either filmmakers or alpinists. In July of 1936 Nazi Germany, as propaganda for the Summer Olympics, organized a European competition for any mountaineer to be the first to climb the Eiger North Face. Known as the Murder Wall, top German climbers Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser set out with the Austrian team of Willy Angerer and Edi Rainier hot on their heels.

Based on a true story, director Philipp Stölzl propels the viewer out of the Hollywood comfort zone and onto the cliff face. From setting the first piton to the now named Hinterstoisser Traverse to the encroaching weather and its dangers, the story is told with an unflinching eye tuned to the realities of the vertical world and its challenges.

Not to be missed. Premiering across the US on January 29th, the American Mountaineering Museum cohosts with the American Alpine Club to offer a FREE screening of the film at the American Mountaineering Center Friday, January 29th. The film begins at 6 PM in the Foss Auditorium with a Museum reception at 5 PM.

Again, not to be missed! While it’s in German with English subtitles once the climbing begins you won’t be too concerned with reading.

More information on the film is found at North Face: the Movie


The First Rule of Fight Club...

…is you don’t talk about Fight Club.

Really? Then how will we let you know that tonight, January 12, at 6 PM is the monthly meeting of the AAC Book Club Fight Club? Guess we shouldn’t tell you that it’s a verbal joust with author Mark Obmascik in attendance. Or that it’s squaring off on his book, Halfway to Heaven – my White-Knuckled – and Knuckle-Headed – Quest for the Rocky Mountain High. It is, after all, about a middle-aged guy who takes on the challenge of summiting all of CO’s 14ers and discovers a lot about himself and his man-dates along the way.

Sounds like a meet? Tonight, 6 PM. Check in with the Alpine Club Library folks for location. The Base Camp Museum Store has a couple copies of the book available, in case you want your own autographed copy.

Remember - after the AAC Book Club Fight Club, everything else in your life has the volume turned down. You could deal with anything.


If you don't like the weather in Colorado...

…just wait half an hour! Unfortunately because it took a little longer to clear things out last night the sPEAKer series event on avalanche awareness was cancelled. We sure do appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm for the event and, as the weather and conditions last night and today prove, it’s still a very necessary topic. The event WILL be rescheduled so stay tuned and the date and time will be posted.

Be that as it may, next Tuesday, January 12th, the ongoing American Alpine Club Book Club Fight Club will meet for its monthly salon. This month’s book is Halfway to Heaven, by Denver resident and author Mark Obmascik. Subtitled My White-knuckled – and Knuckle-headed – Quest for the Rocky Mountain High, well, that should tell you it’s going to be a lively read with more than a few chuckles. The Book Club meets starting at 6 PM – check in with the library for this month’s location.

If you need a copy and can’t find one, there are copies available for purchase in the Base Camp Museum Store. Give us a shout at 303-996-2755 or come by the store and we’ll take care of you.

There’s nothing quite like bluebird skies and sun glinting off fresh-fallen snow. Take a picture, make a snow-angel, enjoy the crunch of snow underfoot. It’s a great day to be in Colorado.


Are You Allergic to Vanilla?

No doubt if you’re reading this, you are. Plain vanilla is good for ice cream. But adventure?

Maybe not so much.

That’s why the next sPEAKer series event scheduled for Wednesday, January 6th (that’s tomorrow) at 7 PM is focused on avalanche awareness and aimed at the adventurer in all of you. No doubt you’ve heard about today’s avalanche fatalities in Canada and Switzerland after these latest storms. You may be traveling there, you may be staying home, but a little knowledge is a powerful thing for these unstable conditions.

The CMC members leading this information session are all American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) approved and trained. They know their stuff from their 300+ days in the field. Your time will be well spent learning about types of avalanches, terrain, snowpack and weather on top of trip planning and travel techniques. It’s not a Level I certification class and there’ll be no training in beacon use or search and rescue/recovery. But it’ll open your eyes to the risks and, more importantly, the basic safety measures that enable good backcountry decision-making.

So the snow may look plain vanilla while it’s anything but. Save the ice cream for your bowl at home and your wits and wisdom for the bowls above treeline.

$3 CMC/AAC Members, $5 Non-Members - FREE to Friends of the Museum and Friends of the AAC Library. Museum admission is included in the ticket price and will be open from 5:30 – 6:30; light noms provided. Base Camp Adventure store will also be open for purchases.