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The impossible achieved

Daily Staff Report - Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO
Special to the Daily Kit DesLauriers became the first woman to ski from the top of the world's tallest mountain, and the first person in history to ski from each of the Seven Summits.
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WEST VAIL – The speakers for the Vail Symposium’s Unlimited Adventure series have accomplished the impossible, broken world records and voyaged new lands. And every Thursday, from Jan. 25-March 1, they’ll be at Vail’s Donovan Pavilion to tell people all about it. Here is the low down on the series:The Nile? No problem

The series kicks off Thursday, with one of the world’s most successful and accomplished mountain and river expedition leaders Pasquale Scaturro. In 2004, Scaturro and his partner became the first duo in history to conquer all 3,260 miles of the world’s greatest river in a single descent. For 114 days, the crew made their way down the Blue Nile and Nile Rivers, traversing three countries in some of the world’s most remote regions. Scaturro will talk about this and other adventures on African rivers, including his recent excursion down the Lower Omo, in search of the isolated Mursi tribe of Ethiopia.Pedal powerThe adventure continues the following week with Stan Havlick. This summer, as part of his mission to raise funds and awareness for the Cancer Foundation, Havlick completed a 14-year quest to cycle coast-to-coast across all six bikeable continents of the world. For two months and nearly 3,000 miles, Havlick and his team pedaled across Northern Europe. Their ride spanned regions in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland, continued on through the Ukraine, and ended in Russia, where they finished their expedition in Astrakhan on the Volga River. On Feb. 1, Havlick will share photos of their adventure and describe their unique cultural experiences along the way.

Ski like a girlIn the past couple of months, virtually every ski industry and outdoor publication has featured the incredible feat of North Face elite athlete Kit DesLauriers. Just two months ago, the 37-year-old world free skiing champion became the first woman to ski from the top of the world’s tallest mountain, and the first person in history to ski from each of the Seven Summits. On Thursday, Feb. 8, Kit DesLauriers will speak about how her goal to ski from the highest point on each continent unfolded over the past two years, culminating in her recent decent from the summit of Everest.Super Pantsu Man

Boulder-based Timmy O’Neill is unlike any rock climber you’ve ever met. He has set speed climbing records from Yosemite to Patagonia, and has been at the cutting-edge of the sport for over 15 years. He is a world-class slackliner, renowned building solo climber, class 5-plus kayaker and “dangerously fast” mountain biker. O’Neill is best known for his irreverent humor and quick wit, which have been on display at his sold-out slideshows throughout the world and in the recent films “Return2Sender” and “Front Range Freaks”. On Feb. 15, join Timmy for a short film or two and an evening of climbing stories, including his ascent of El Cap with his brother Sean – who is paralyzed from the waist down – and his recent trip to Japan as Super Pantsu Man.’Deep Sea Detective’The following week, we will leave the highest places of the world, and travel to the deepest parts of the sea with the History Channel’s “Deep Sea Detective,” Richie Kohler. From 1991 through 1996, Kohler and his partner, John Chatterton, worked to positively identify the German submarine, U-869, off the New Jersey coast. Their work has been the subject of several television documentaries and the compelling book, “Shadow Divers,” by Robert Kurson (Random House, 2004), soon to be a major motion picture. On Feb. 22nd, Kohler will share his deep sea explorations with the Vail community, and discuss cutting-edge diving projects he and Chatterton have recently completed on the wrecks of the Titanic and Britannic. He will also give us a video “sneak peek” at the upcoming documentary about their 2006 Britannic expedition.

Digital treesThe Unlimited Adventure series concludes on March 1 with extreme photographer James Balog. Coupling rock climbing and caving techniques with digital cameras, Balog dangled 36 stories above the earth to produce unprecedented views of the largest, oldest trees in the world. Balog presented these images in his book, “Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest” (Sterling, 2004). Balog will share these images, as well as give audience members a preview of his upcoming work for National Geographic.All adventurer talks are free, open to the public and take place at Dononvan Pavilion in West Vail. For more information, visit http://www.vailsymposium.org or call 476-0954.


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