Volume IV, Issue 2   January 11, 2018  
January Editor: Shaun Hathaway
In this issue...
  • Ski Mountaineering: A Panel Discussion led by Christina King
  • Aspen Rotary Announcements
  • Happy Bucks
Ski Mountaineering: A Panel Discussion
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Speakers: Steve Marolt, John Gaston, Pete Gaston
Christina King led a panel discussion featuring ski mountaineers Steve Marolt, Pete Gaston and John Gaston.  Ski Mountaineering: A discipline that involves climbing mountains either on skis or carrying them, and then descending on skis
Steve and his brother Mike became the first Americans to climb and ski from 8,000 meters (26,000 feet).  They also were the first Americans to ski from the death zone on Mt. Everest.  A fifth generation native of Aspen, Steve’s passion for ski mountaineering began by climbing the mountains of Colorado before progressing to the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, South America and eventually to the tallest mountains in the world—the Himalayas.  He explained that this was a natural progression—start in your backyard before moving to the tallest and most difficult peaks in the world.  Steve has climbed 50-55 mountains 600 meters (19,500 feet) or higher and skied most of them.  The limitation of carrying skies during these high altitude climbs has lessened over the years with the remarkable evolution of ski equipment.  In addition to his position as a local CPA, Steve and his brother are founders with Jim Giles of 8K Peak Technologies.   This company was born out of the need to fund their expeditions when sponsorship funds dried up during the national economic collapse in 2008.
Also on the panel are twin brothers John and Pete Gaston, who have dominated local randonnée races in Aspen. In recent years, John has taken ski mountaineer racing to the next level; he is known as the fastest American ski-mo racer.  Their discipline of racing blends the endurance of a cross-country skiing with the technicality of big-mountain free skiing and the unflinching courage of mountain climbing.  John’s current record on Ajax is 37 minutes, and has reached downhill speeds of 83 miles per hour.  Blessed with athletic genes and a high tolerance for pain, the brothers modestly maintain that these endurance races are part of a lifelong goal they share, the same goal that first got them hiking Aspen Highlands Bowl as youngsters: to spend more time in the mountains. They founded and currently operate Strafe outwear.  
  • Sarah Nininger, Visiting Rotarian from Rubaga, Uganda, and guest of Steve Wickes
  • Nathalie Crick, Member Nominee and guest of Susan Gomes
Aspen Rotary Announcements
  • President Scott Russell reported the following:
    • The Board meeting this week was canceled.  The next Board meeting is February 9
    • The Board retreat will take place the second half of February (TBA)
    • Lorraine is gone the next two weeks
  • Deb presented a Blue Badge to Aspen Valley Hospital's CEO Dave Ressler.   
  • Heidi announced that the next World Community Service committee meeting is next Thursday following the main Rotary meeting.  
Upcoming Speakers
Upcoming Speakers
January 18: Greg Lewis, "A day in the life of an Olympic Commentator"
January 25: Christina Medved, Watershed Education Director, Roaring Fork Conservancy 
February 1: Mark Kavasch and Ryan Marshall, "Everything you wanted to know about your 2018 Income Tax Bill - But Were Afraid to Ask"
Member News
Happy Bucks 
This month, Happy Bucks benefits the Homeless Shelter
  • John S. is happy that his daughter is engaged
  • Jeanette D. is happy to announce that it is the final day to purchase Hall of Fame banquet tickets; also Carbondale Valley Visual Art Show opens
  • David R. is happy to be back as a Rotarian.
  • Warren K. is happy there is snow and no more room cancellations
  • Sarah N. is happy that they had their 3rd Winter Fund Raiser and raised $100,000 for Action in Africa
  • Steve S. is happy that he is in the presence of Winterskol King & Queen
Newsletter Sponsors
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
The Weekly Newsletter of the Rotary Club of Aspen.
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