CoLab revs up at GoPro Mountain Games

Abby Wren and Wade Holland get CoLab at the GoPro Mountain Games started Thursday with a live discussion about video editing.
Madison Rahhal/Special to the Daily

While some GoPro Mountain Games spectators knew about the CoLab stage, at least one woman walked up to the outdoor arena exclaiming, “Wow, I didn’t know this existed.”

CoLab debuted at Mountain Games Thursday, beginning with organizers and creators Wade Holland and Abby Wren providing a few tips on “how to create epic video on your phone,” followed by legendary skier Chris Davenport and native Irishman, emcee and event manager Max Rantz-McDonald previewing what’s to come throughout the weekend.

During the noon presentation, Holland and Wren introduced CapCut, an all-in-one, free video editing app that takes footage to a new level. They recommended the Quik video editing app for those with GoPros. They also suggested tricks like turning the phone upside down to get really close to, say, feet walking or a dog; shooting on the wide angle .5, which Holland said makes your video so much more exciting; or getting creative with angles, from up high to down low.

“Movement is really important when shooting,” Wren added, encouraging people to move their bodies around, like videographers you see on stage, weaving in and out of performers and going for various angles and lines of sight.

Holland said he kept the stage show short after reading the crowd, and it was true: The village hadn’t swelled with people yet, as it would later Thursday afternoon. However, he was happy to chat with people who wanted more information after the presentation.

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Slacklining demos garnered plenty of attention at Solaris from about 12:30-3:30 p.m., while the CoLab stage remained empty, but it revved up at 3:30 p.m. when Omar Alvarez, guide to blind mountaineer Rafa Jaime, shared moving stories about climbing mountains together with Jaime, as the Handpan Man played beautiful music and Wren painted a mountain scene inspired by the stories.

“Mountains are the university of life,” Alvarez said.

Jaime couldn’t make it to CoLab because he was suffering from an infection after getting sick in Kathmandu. However, Alvarez told heartfelt stories about how he got into mountaineering. After his father made a last wish that his ashes be spread on the highest mountain in Mexico, Alvarez prepared mentally, emotionally and physically for 11 months, and carried out his father’s desire. Now, he and Jaime are working on a common goal to summit seven of the highest peaks on seven continents — five of which they’ve accomplished.

Last April, the two spent 62 days acclimatizing to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. However, at Camp 3, Alvarez got pulmonary edema, so he had to descend. But Jaime reached the summit with a sherpa who led him there. Alvarez talked about what a difficult decision turning back was, but he would have died if he didn’t. His definition of summiting isn’t a necessarily traditional, or popular, one.

“Summit(ing) is not just getting to the summit,” he said. “The real summit is when you summit and get back home.”

He said this year has been the deadliest year on record on Mt. Everest and also talked about how everyone has their own Mt. Everest to climb, metaphorically.

Marty Music, a premier guitar instructor on YouTube, got the crowd going as he brought one person at a time up on stage to jam, then hung out to talk to followers. Friday, he returned and gave away an amplifier based on a drawing.

The CoLab stage is located in Solaris Plaza throughout the Mountain Games weekend.
Madison Rahhal/Special to the Daily

Thursday closed with Timmy Ham, aka SLOTH, taking a modern approach to Bob Ross as he painted a bright, pastel mountain scene, complete with a UFO. As he painted, he talked about his home state of Arizona (hence the UFO), as well as Ross’ “happy little accidents.”

“There really are no mistakes, you just have to figure out how to create something out of what just happened,” Ham said.

While creating his large mural, he encouraged spectators to fully delve into the Mountain Games.

“There are so many things to get involved in — to use your body, to collaborate in and to get to know people,” he said.

Saturday, HoneyTrek kicks off CoLab by giving 11 tips for more sustainable travel at 11 a.m. Then Wren talks about adapting to alopecia, which causes a loss of hair, through art. Todd Jones, one of the founders of TGR, and his son, Kai, discuss what it means to be a content producer and more at 3:30 p.m., followed by Andrew Alexander King and L’Renee “breaking barriers in the outdoors.” The day ends with the story of how Brodie That Dood became the internet’s favorite adventure dog.

Sunday, the Handpan Man shares his soothing sounds at 10 a.m., and then our favorite dogs of Vail — Vail avalanche rescue dogs — take center stage at 11 a.m. as a ski patroller talks about the mountain’s avalanche rescue dog program. Climbing icon Lynn Hill shares some of her favorite adventures at noon, and Holland and Wren wrap up the Mountain Game’s first CoLab as they share highlights from the four-day adventure at 3:30 p.m.

“The whole point is sharing,” Holland said. “Hopefully it encourages collaboration.”

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