Saturday, October 30, 2010

The North Face Speaker Series - Karina Hollekim

Made it to Wednesday night's North Face Speaker Series at the Armory.  It featured professional skier and BASE-jumper Karina Hollekim of Banff Film Festival fame.  She talked about her career as an adrenaline junkie, how it almost ended very badly for her on a blown jump, and how she made it through a three-and-a-half year recovery learning to walk again and just recently, skiing.

Last year was the first year the Speaker Series was brought through town, when climbers Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin shared photos and video of a recent Himalayan climb with thanks to sponsors Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works, Outside Magazine, The North Face, and Gore-Tex.  If you missed that presentation then you missed out, because it was badass.

This year's presentation was interesting because Ms. Hollekim's Banff role, for those who might have seen it a couple years ago, ended with a failed parachute and near fatal injuries.  What would this person do now that their career and lifestyle are effectively no longer an option?  She's still around obviously, and doesn't otherwise appear to have recently been consigned by doctors to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  A pretty remarkable story, and it was disorienting to watch short video presentations of the person standing before us casually stepping off cliffs the size of El Cap.  The event had a really good turnout too with the auditorium about 3/4 full. A big thanks to Sangre de Cristo and Outside for bringing this to town once again.

Parts of the presentation showed some incredible skiing footage from the steeps of Scandinavia or somewhere.  Well, it got me pretty psyched about the winter.  Not coincidentally, I received a friendly e-mail yesterday with a link to the new Pow-cam up at Crested Butte which was showing loads of fresh snow.  26" since Monday apparently.  I'll need to update this post with a relevant photo since it was a sight to behold.  Time to strap on the freaking boards already.

Update:  At left is a screen-shot of Crested Butte's snow conditions as of last Thursday night.  Apparently, Wolf Creek opened part of its mountain for the weekend because of the snowfall, with $31 adult tickets through early season. Crested Butte opens 11/19 11/24.

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