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Unlimited Adventure series begins today

Daily Staff Report
Special to the Daily The Unlimited Adventure series begins today with Diane Van Deren. She will recount a tale of endurance while racing in the Alaskan Iditarod Invitational at Donovan Pavilion today from 5:30-7 p.m.
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VAIL – What compels a person to run, ski, leap, bike, climb or hike? For some, it is mental – a chance to pursue a curiosity to explore the world from unique perspectives or solve mysteries; for others, it is physical – a chance to defy their limitations and push their endurance.The Vail Symposium and Vail Library will host The 2006 Unlimited Adventure Series, featuring speakers over six Thursdays that will share their motivations and experiences with the community. All programs are free. The series begins today with Diane Van Deren, a finalist for Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine’s Person of the Year Award and winner of the Everest Award in 2005. Van Deren is a distance runner, competing in challenges of 50 and 100 miles. Her motivation to run endurance events followed successful brain surgery for adult-onset epilepsy, which left her seizure-free. She will recount a tale of endurance while racing in the Alaskan Iditarod Invitational.On Feb. 2, Vail resident Chris Anthony, extreme adventurer, will discuss his exploits while working on 16 Warren Miller films in 16 years. His journey as part of the team has taken him to some of the most daunting slopes throughout the world. He is veteran of eight World Extreme Skiing Championships and 1996 Alaskan Extreme Skiing Champion.Photographer/writer Matthew Cull will relate his passion for biking through remote areas of the world – alone – Feb. 9. He will share his last transcontinental ride, a nine-month tour of Asia that carried him the length of Japan and then from Beijing to Singapore. In 20 years, he has traversed six continents by bicycle. When not on his bike, he competes with the U.S. Mountain Running Team.The series delves into history with a presentation by author Susan E.B. Schwartz on Feb. 23. Her biography, “Into the Unknown: The Remarkable Life of Hans Kraus (2005),” resurrects a luminary from the ’50s and ’60s, who might otherwise have sunk into undeserved obscurity. A legendary rock climber, Hans Kraus was once described by another as having “cojones so big he needs a bag to carry them in.” He carried his intrepid nature into his work in science. He was one of the fathers of sports and physical medicine, and his unique approach to treating back pain gained him entry into John F. Kennedy’s inner circle.

Sam Lightner Jr. followed a mystery into the jungles of Borneo. With little more than an entry from an obscure military book and a map labeled “all elevations unknown,” Lightner and his buddy braved dark wet trails, leeches, sweat bees, deadly spitting cobras, poisonous bamboo vipers and wild board in a quest to climb a mountain that was only rumored to exist. He will relate his narrative on March 2.The series wraps up with a different kind of adventure: Jim Cole’s self-proclaimed mission to speak for the endangered grizzlies. Cole’s passion has carried him 17,000 miles on foot through the North American wilderness over three decades to study and photograph these oft-misunderstood creatures who now number only about 1,000.Vail Symposium is a nonprofit, grass-roots organization originally created in 1971 as a “think tank” for the early residents of Vail. As the community grew, so too did the Symposium, offering more than 60 programs year-round while staying true to its original mission of offering educational and cultural programming for the community that is thought-provoking, diverse and affordable. For information, call 476-2195 or visit info@vaillibrary.com.Pushing boundaries

“One Foot in Alaska” discussion with Diane Van Deren5:30-7 p.m. todayDonovan PavilionCost is freeFor more information, call 476-0954



From Alaska to grizzliesAll Unlimited Adventure discussions happen from 5:30-7 p.m., and admission is freeToday – Diane Van Deren: “One Foot in Alaska” at Donovan Park PavilionFeb. 2 – Chris Anthony: “Off-Road with Warren Miller” at Donovan Park Pavilion

Feb. 9 Matthew Cull: “Full Immersion – A Bicycle Journey through Asia” at Donovan Park PavilionFeb. 23 Susan E.B. Schwartz: “Into the Unknown: The Remarkable Life of Hans Kraus” at Vail Library Community RoomMarch 2 Sam Lightner Jr.: “Elevations Unknown – Borneo” at Donovan Park PavilionMarch 9 Jim Cole: “Spirit of the Grizzly” at Donovan Park PavilionVail, Colorado


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