Kristian Solem – Wild Times in High Places

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Kristian Solem started climbing in the mid 1970’s at the Gunks and ten years later moved to Los Angeles. In California, Kristian visited the usual climbing areas like Tahquitz and Suicide, Joshua Tree and Yosemite. But when he first laid eyes on The Needles, Kristian knew he had found his nirvana. He would go on to climb there every season for three decades. Bouldering at Stoney Point, he met Bob Kamps, who became a mentor for 20 years. Partnerships were forged at Stoney Point with the likes of Herb Laeger, Charlie Crist, Jan McCollum and Guy Keesee, which led to adventures and first ascents at Joshua Tree, Courtright Reservoir, The Needles area and the Gorge of Despair.

Kristian led an alternate life as a mastering engineer, which is a rare job in music production that doesn’t demand long hours for weeks or months at a time. This left him time to train, boulder and go climbing. He kept his lifestyle simple and lean and spent all of his free time on the rock. Kristian has spent years researching, climbing and now authored a climbing guide to the Needles in the Southern Sierra. Today, at age 63, his love affair with California’s beautiful granite is undiminished.

Kristian’s presentation will showcase his time climbing wild places including the Needles, Courtright Reservoir and the Gorge of Despair. “In the paradise of stone on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, The Needles are the most prized treasure in the garden.” -E.C. Joe & Richard Leversee.

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Kristian Solem and Mike Flood on Ankles Away, Needles, CA; Photo: Kevin Powell

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Kristian Solem; Photo: Kevin Daniels

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Seth Dilles – Sierra Ramblings From A Sonoma County Native

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Seth Dilles is a Sonoma County native and Rock Ice & Mountain Club member who discovered climbing at the young age of 12 when he first climbed at Sunset Boulders at Sonoma Coast State Beach. He helped build Vertex Climbing Center and was one of their first employees. He has spent time working in Yosemite Valley and as a climbing guide in the Sierra, Joshua Tree and Red Rock with Sky’s The Limit Guide Service. He currently works for an engineering firm doing rope access construction and rigging. Seth is a very accomplished climber with first ascents in the High Sierra and several El Capitan ascents.

Seth will show us some of his High Sierra outings from his first ascents on Mt. Whitney and Birch Mountain and many other climbs, both in the Sierra and beyond.

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Glen Denny – Valley Walls and El Capitan

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Glen Denny was born in Modesto, California in 1939 and grew up in the nearby town of Livingston, where his father taught mathematics and music at the high school. His first outdoor experiences came through fly-fishing trips into the Sierra with his father. When Glen moved to Yosemite in 1958 to learn to climb, the first ascent of El Capitan was under way. Inspired by this historic event, he was soon climbing the most challenging routes in Yosemite Valley, including some of the early ascents of El Capitan, with many of the big-wall pioneers of the late fifties and early sixties. His first ascents include the Dihedral Wall on El Capitan, the west face of the Leaning Tower, the north face of the Rostrum, and the Prow on Washington Column. His first ascents of the southwest face of Mount Conness and the east face of Keeler Needle were the first big wall climbs in the High Sierra. He has also made first ascents in the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru and the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.

Originally self-taught, Glen began photographing Yosemite climbs and climbers in the early sixties before studying photography and filmmaking at San Francisco State University, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree. His climbing films have won awards at several film festivals and his photography has appeared in a number of exhibitions and publications, culminating in his 2007 book, “Yosemite in the Sixties.” Glen currently lives with his family in San Francisco.

Glen will be reading excerpts from his recently published book, “Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite.” After the presentation and Q&A session, he will be signing and selling copies of this book and the posters he has made of Yosemite climbs in the 1960s.

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Hannah Donnelly – The Road Back To Living

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Hannah Donnelly is a young, enthusiastic wanderer always in search for the next adventure. She has been climbing and competing for 10 years and has dedicated every ounce of her being to the sport and community. Hannah understands the dedication and mentality it takes to be at the top level and with her planned career in high level sports massage and bodywork on the horizon, she is excited and dedicated to use her own struggles to help other athletic enthusiasts reach their goals.

Growing up in the USAC Youth climbing program, Hannah never felt quite complete. The endless training, traveling and competitions on a nationally ranked team for 8+ years started to take their toll. It’s easy to get stuck in that same routine and thus, climbing had lost a bit of its “magic” that was so prevalent in the beginning. It became a job, an obligation, a chore and not the lifestyle she was drawn to and dreamed about having. As Hannah’s last years in youth climbing competition approached, she was hit with the BIGGEST challenge. What if climbing wasn’t an option any longer? She had never thought about that before, however, facing a needed spinal fusion surgery, now made that a frightening reality.

Having not one, but two spine surgeries in a three-month period, climbing again seemed hardly a possibility, however with determination everything is possible. Climbing wasn’t a chore anymore, the thought of it became Hannah’s lifeline, the only thing that kept her from the deep hole of depression and doubt was the thought of being on the rock.

In this presentation, Hannah will talk openly about her struggles through recovery from back surgery, finding climbing again in a new light, adjusting to her high bred expectations to live within a “new normal”, and her big climbing goals and trips for 2017 and beyond.

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Tahoe Adventure Film Festival Road Tour 2017 – January 27 @ Mystic Theatre, Petaluma

The Tahoe Adventure Film Festival (TAFF) is not your typical stuffy film festival. This fun high-energy evening will fuel your passion for action, and ignite your senses for adventure. We highlight the best adventure sports films of the year and showcase the action sports world best talent.

All of the films are specially selected and edited to fit the festival’s fast pace format. The evening is exciting and entertaining on and off the screen. TAFF organizers spend hours pouring over footage, narrowing down the film submissions to the top 10 from every corner of the Action Sports World. From there each filmmaker produces a special 10-12 minute clip or segment to be premiered at the festival.

TAFF’s first Road Tour stop will once again be hosted by Sonoma County’s Rock Ice & Mountain Club at Petaluma’s Mystic Theatre. The RIM Club has been a pillar of the North Bay climbing and adventure community since 1994. Proceeds from this year’s gear raffle with items from CamelBak, Adidas Outdoor, Kitsbow, Wylder Goods, Marmot, Santa Rosa Ski and Sports, Vertex Climbing Center, Levi’s GranFondo, Sonoma Outfitters and many more… will benefit the B-Rad Foundation.

Join us as we gather the North Bay tribe and pack the house once again for the fifth annual TAFF North Bay Road Tour stop.

Doors at 6:30, Show at 7:30. All Ages.
Tickets $15 – Gear raffle to benefit the B-Rad Foundation
Purchase Advance Tickets at Sonoma Outfitters or at the Mystic Theatre box office or www.mystictheatre.com

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Bart O’Brien – A Lifetime of Sierra Adventures

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

The Sierra Nevada mountains, America’s “gentle wilderness,” invite exploration. Bart O’Brien has been hiking, peak bagging and rock climbing in the High Sierra for decades and he has climbed hundreds of mountains, walked thousands of miles, and added twenty first ascents to walls and spires in the back country. In this presentation, he will share stories from his exploits in the famous national parks, the many wilderness areas and lesser know sections throughout this great range. The presentation will inspire you to embark on your own Sierra adventure this summer.

Bart O’Brien has loved the mountains since he was a kid growing up in Marin County. He started rock climbing in the late sixties and has climbed on six continents. He has done many first ascents in the Sierra, “classic climbs” throughout the American west, big peaks in Peru and popular mountains in the Alps. He spent thirty-two years as a high school teacher and administrator and he retired four years ago after a nine year stint as district superintendent. Bart has two daughters and lives with his wife, Loretta, in Colfax, CA. His photos and articles have appeared in the American Alpine Journal, Summit, Climbing, and Rock and Ice, as well as several other publications.

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Janel Healy – A Solo Journey on the Appalachian Trail

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

After three years of a desk job by day and a dizzying flurry of interpersonal activity by night, Janel realized that she needed to simplify, go within, challenge her body, and spend time in nature as a 30th birthday present to herself. She read “Wild,” a memoir about Cheryl Strayed’s solo journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, and decided to give it a go on the other side of the continent! Although Janel is a Bay Area native, she chose to through-hike the Appalachian Trail—stretching 2,187 miles from Georgia to Maine—because of the prevalence of water and shelters, the proximity of “trail towns,” and because she lived for two years in central Virginia.

Given the popularity of starting an AT hike northbound from Georgia in the spring — thousands of hopefuls start at the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, between March and April — Janel decided to avoid the crowds and do an alternative through-hike to maximize her alone time in nature. She did a “flip-flop” (i.e. starting in the middle of the trail and heading one direction, then “flipping” back to finish the other half), which allowed her to both start and end the hike in Virginia near her former home at the Twin 0aks intentional community.

In this presentation, Janel will talk about her experiences doing a non-traditional through-hike; overcoming the physical discomfort and monotony of hiking 20 miles a day; through-hiker culture; what the terrain is like in the American South versus the Northeast; and what it was like for an extrovert who had barely backpacked before to spend almost 6 months on her own in the mountains!

Janel Healy is a writer and adventurer from Los Altos, California who is driven by an insatiable curiosity about the resilience of both natural systems and the human spirit. After four years studying Communications at the University of Southern California, she spent much of her 20s exploring—from singing on cruise ships to working on organic farms in Australia to living on communes to doing a long distance hike. Before hiking the Appalachian Trail this year, she spent three years as the Communications Director for the 0ccidental Arts & Ecology Center in western Sonoma County.

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Hans Florine – On The Nose: A Lifelong Obsession With Yosemite’s Most Iconic Climb

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Hans Florine is a big-wall climbing legend in his own time. He holds the speed record on the Nose route of El Capitan, a 3,000-foot granite cliff in Yosemite Valley that’s considered the Everest of the rock-climbing world. Ascending the Nose takes most climbers anywhere from 12 to 96 hours. Florine, along with climbing partner Alex Honnold, did it in an astounding 2.5 hours. But Florine’s story is not one of super-human athletic prowess; it’s one of persistence and dogged determination. In 30 years of climbing, Hans has ascended the Nose a mind-blowing 100 times, more than anyone else ever has, and most likely ever will.

In his new book, On The Nose, Florine describes the most dangerous, pivotal, and inspirational of those climbs, providing a rare look inside the adrenaline-charged world of competitive climbing in Yosemite Valley. Perhaps more interestingly, Florine attempts to answer the question why. Why would anyone undertake one of the greatest adventure epics on earth 100 times? His answers provide unique insights on how to live a satisfying life, how to achieve big goals, and how an otherwise ordinary guy can become a rock star.

In addition to his climbing accolades, Hans Florine is the co-author of Speed Climbing, has written articles for Rock and Ice, Climbing, and Master’s Athlete and has produced the multi-media series How to Climb the Nose. Hans served as executive director of the American Sport Climbers Federation from 1992 to 1996 and is currently an Ambassador for The Access Fund, as well as manager and shareholder at Touchstone Climbing & Fitness, the largest climbing gym chain in the country.

Hans is a professional motivational speaker, delivering keynotes at trade shows, conferences, and college auditoriums worldwide, from local rotary club meetings to Fortune 500 events. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children. For more details about Hans’s new book see: http://onthenosebook.com.

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Allyson Gunsallus: Salt Earth Art – Watercolors and Adventure from Patagonia and Beyond

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

Allyson Gunsallus started climbing in 2005 and moved to California shortly thereafter to spend as much time as possible in Yosemite. Her appreciation of climbing and the mountains has been enriched over the last few years through a new passion for watercolor painting. Since the medium is so portable, Allyson has been able to bring along paints on most of her adventures. In 2015, through a Live Your Dream Grant from the American Alpine Club, she traveled to Argentine Patagonia, which has become the subject for a couple of her favorite paintings. Allyson’s website and art can be found at http://www.SaltEarthArt.com

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Kaare Iverson – The Hardest Line: Carving a Career out of Mountains

Location: Round Table Pizza, 2065 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

Time & Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 @ 7:30 PM (Social hours and free beer for members at 6:30)

Directions: From Highway 101 at Santa Rosa go west on Highway 12 to Stony Point Road Exit. Go straight from the middle lane at the light onto Occidental Road. The Round Table Pizza is on the right just down the road.

In 2009, Kaare Iverson walked away from a comfortable lifestyle as an ex-patriated TESL teacher in southern China. Equipped with a camera, a love of mountain culture and absolutely no business sense, he set out to remake himself as an adventure photographer. Seven years later he finds himself rooted in the culture of Northern California and finally realizing that dream. Currently based in Santa Rosa, Kaare is an adventure lifestyle photographer & director who works with Osprey Packs, Marmot, Black Diamond, Pebble and others. His images have been published with Climbing, Gripped, Rock & Ice, Yoga Journal and Outside. Kaare will speak to the Rock Ice & Mountain Club, sharing his personal journey and the adventures that have launched his success.
http://www.kaareiverson.com/

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"I'd rather be in the mountains thinking about God, than in church thinking about the mountains."
— John Muir