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Vail Symposium’s Unlimited Adventure series begins Thursday

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Vail CO, Colorado
Christopher Swain testing gear in the dirtiest stretch of the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon on May 17, 2002. Swain, a long-distance swimmer, will talk about his ToxTour at Unlimited Adventures Feb. 19.
Basil Childers |

VAIL, Colorado “-Starting Thursday, Unlimited Adventures embarks on a 6-week thrill ride across the globe: by kayak and fishing boat, on foot, skis and under water. For the sixth year, the Vail Symposium and the Vail Public Library have teamed up to present one of the Valley’s most popular speaker series, which regularly packs the Donovan Pavilion to capacity. This year’s line-up gives us a glimpse into what motivates adventurers to push the boundaries of geography and human endurance, be it the spirit of exploration or a mission to preserve the planet. The programs are free and begin at 6 p.m.

Oceans 8, a 10-year exploration of the seven continents and Oceania by sea kayak, took Jon Bowermaster to the heart of the Aleutian Islands, down the coast of Vietnam, through the Tuamotus, across the high plains of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina and up the wild coasts of Gabon. The final leg was just completed in the Antarctic Peninsula.

His team consisted of some of the world’s best photographers, filmmakers and scientists. Jon will share footage of some of the most remote corners of the earth, and report on the state of the seas and the three billion people who live and depend on them.



Jon is a lifelong explorer and writes for National Geographic, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and others. He has worked on nine books and over a dozen documentaries. His latest book: “Wildebeest in a Rainstorm” will be pre-released at the event, courtesy of The Bookworm.

Kimi Puntillo ran her first marathon in 1995 and didn’t stop until she had run marathons on all seven continents: earning two Guinness World Book Records along the way. She shares stories of the unforgettable people and places she encountered, and gives insights into how running transformed her perspective on life, as well as her journalism and marketing consultant career. Her new book, “Great Races, Incredible Places,” will be released in March.



Underwater explorer, writer and photographer Anne Doubilet shares stories from three expeditions she completed in 2007 which took her from Papua New Guinea in search of the elusive poisonous catfish, to the highlands to document remote villages, and finished in the Arctic to study climate changes.

Doubilet was recently named to the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame and has teamed up with National Geographic on more than 30 stories. She will share exquisite photos of coral and ice and overland wonders, which have appeared in American Photographer, The Explorers Journal and National Geographic. A book signing will follow, courtesy of The Bookworm.

As a swimmer, Christopher Swain has survived collisions with boats, 12-foot waves, lightning storms, class IV+ rapids, toxic blue-green algae, Lamprey Eel attacks and water contaminated with everything from human waste to nuclear waste. You could call him crazy, or you could call him a crusader. On shore, he has delivered clean water education presentations to more than 45,000 schoolchildren. In April, he embarks on his ToxTour, swimming 1,000 miles from Marblehead, Mass to D.C., stopping in more than 2,000 classrooms along the way. As Swain explains, “when we give kids the tools to make a difference, adults will listen.”



Dangerous moments on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” are caught on camera by Cameron Glendenning. Would that make his one of the deadliest jobs? Glendenning, who just won an Emmy for Best Cinematography, will share scenes from on board the Time Bandit, his sea home for filming the wildly popular television programs.

Glendenning films, directs and produces around the world for NBC, TLC, MTV and others. His subjects have included base jumping in Colombia, motorcycle racing in Qatar, Shark Taggers and the wild shores of Alaska. His photography is featured in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, LA Times, USA Today and Time. Book signing courtesy of the The Bookworm.

Former pro skier, Olympic television producer, X Games commentator, filmmaker and award-winning journalist William Kerig brings excerpts of his new book and film, “The Edge of Never.” In 1996, legendary skier Trevor Petersen lost his life in Chamonix.

Nearly a decade later, his 15-year-old son set out to ski the very same run, and Kerig was there to capture it. Kerig explores the spirit and minds of the skiers who chase the big mountains at great risk. Book signing, courtesy of The Bookworm.

To view the full Vail Symposium winter schedule, visit http://www.vailsymposium.org.

What: Vail Symposium’s Unlimited Adventure Series.

When: Thursdays from Jan. 29 through March 5, begins at 5:30 p.m. with a meet and greet, 6 p.m. talk.

Where: Donovan Pavilion, Vail.

Cost: Free. For more information, call the Vail Symposium at 970-476-0954 or visit http://www.vailsymposium.org.


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