Ascending an 8,000-meter peak is never easy. In winter, with temperatures plummeting to 30 below and colder and with snowstorms raging, it is nearly unthinkable. In fact, of the 17 efforts to ascend an 8,000-meter peak in Pakistan in winter only one has been successful. That winter ascent of Gasherbrum II by Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards is the subject of Cold. Filmed by Richards and written from his perspective, this is a very personal and frank portrayal of the risks and rigors of high-altitude mountaineering, in this case intensified by the choice of calendar date—fully three months ahead of the standard Himalayan season. There’s crazy; and then there’s cold crazy. Moro, Urubko and Richards clearly pitch their tents in the latter camp. Of the three, only Richards—the first American to ever achieve an 8,000-meter winter ascent anywhere—seems concerned by the madness.
In March 2009, the Baffin Babes set out on a burly ski trip of 1,200 km across the Canadian Arctic’s Baffin Island. The four twenty-something women—two Swedish sisters, Emma and Vera Simonsson; and a pair of Norwegians, Kristin Folsland Olsen and Ingebjoerg Tollefsen—are all seasoned guides so before they set out they wanted to make sure the social dynamic of their group would hold up. Sparing no punches they told each other exactly what they liked—and didn’t like—about each other and probed how their relationships might clash or gel on a trip where they would depend on each other for survival.
Their experience on the ice and snow may have been hardcore and harrowing—such as sleeping in a tent with polar bears as their closest neighbors—but they also brought a joyous spirit to the trip, posing for goofy photos along the way and skinny-dipping in ice-cold waters.
They will bring that same joy and exuberance to the Sheridan Opera House Friday evening with a presentation that is unlike any you have ever seen before with singing, dancing and much merriment. If you miss them Friday, check them out at the Palm Monday morning. Bring your friends on Monday as this presentation is free and open to the public.