Monday, July 30, 2007

Poi Fire Dancers: Sudden Partnering

About two years ago, I began to take interest in film making again. At that time, many themes were converging in my life and the topic of partnering captured my attention.

Climbing and dancing are activities that I thoroughly enjoy, each requiring partners. Whenever I have a great day out climbing or fun swishing across the dance floor there is a certain essence within me. That feeling is “sudden partnering” it is as if all things are aligned properly and my full being becomes a breathe of air.

It is as if I am light as a feather and joyful……as if I have reached full nirvana. And so I became curious as to what others experience when they partner.

I have interviewed many dancers and climbers on this topic. Today is the first time my work is shared online. What do you think about it?

Over the course of two years, I have become a skillful interviewer. These earlier interviews make me cringe when I see them and the manner in which I was working with my subjects… film making partners.

The following link shows Poi Fire Dancers, Kris and Amy Kurey. I hung out with them on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Opening Day: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Roald Dahl’s Fantasy Adventure for Children
Dramatized by Richard R. George
Performed at the Magic Playhouse – Boulder, CO

Alison Salva as Grandma Georgina.

Today, our household embodied the classic actor’s opening night routine. For a mere two weeks, Alison has rehearsed with the cast of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

With a relaxing and leisurely start to the day, we puttered around the house. Running lines between chores, Alison was set to debut in her role as Grandma Georgina.

All the kids had a full plate and frankly I don’t know that adults would hold up under the demanding schedule they have had.

Q: How in the world did they pull together this performance in just two weeks?
A: Spirit channeled creativity!

Amidst the backdrop of fanciful costumes and outlandish sets, the cast held the space and entertained the audience for two hours. At one point in the show, strobe lights flashed while the children undulated slowly making it look like they were actually floating in space! Cool!

For more information see the Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids web site.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Trip Report: Keyhole Ridge

Trip Report: Keyhole Ridge, Grade III, 5.6
Longs Peak (14,255 ft), RMNP
Descent via Clark’s Arrow and the Loft
Roundtrip ~13 miles
Vert: 4,800+ feet
Climbers: Jill Salva and Kurt Traskos

Yesterday we started late for an alpine outing given the daily monsoons. We signed in at the trailhead at 3:15 am. Our hike up to the boulderfield under load was quick and easy. We passed about 12 people enroute to the Keyhole.

Neither Kurt nor I had climbed this route before, so we relied on beta from the Mountain Project web site. Most Alpine routes are committing and this one was no exception. After a series of class 2 ledges we roped up for fifth class climbing. Our first and subsequent pitches went fast. We did notice two 2-bolt anchors drilled into the east rock at the end of the first pitch.

At 8:30 am the clouds started to build. We continued to watch the weather closely and moved quickly on the terrain. Luck was on our side, the weather held. Of note on the route are the unique views of the Longs Peak towers, the west face wall and the Chiefs Head cirque.

Below is Guy Humphrey’s route description from the Mountain Project. We found it helpful.

“1.) After scrambling up the 2nd class ramp on the east side, follow low 5th class slabs and ledges to the false keyhole. (190ft)

2.) Climb the right side of the tower to the top. Belay in the sun or continue on. (5.5, 75ft)

3.) Climb down a 10ft step and traverse a ledge system on the west side of the ridge to a step. (5.2, 150ft)

4.) Climb one of the crack systems to the top of the small step, downclimb the baskside and follow ledge systems to the next notch.(5.4, 350ft)

5.) Climb slabs to the base of a large right facing dihedral. (5.2, 100ft)

6.) Follow ledge ststems on the east side, while gaining very little elevation. Cool exposure! (5.5, 180ft)

7.) Follow clean slabs up and then left to the next notch (5.2, 190ft)

8.) Climb through the notch, follow ledge systems on the west side, and find a place to belay in the talus. (5.2, 300ft)

9.) Unrope and follow the classic 3rd class ridge to the summit. (600-700ft)”

On the summit we met up with many climbers. There was much chatting and this summit crowd was the friendliest I’ve ever encountered. One guy was celebrating his 39th birthday so we all gathered around him and sang Happy B-day. After trading food and swaping some stories we were on our way down.

We chose to do a full tour of Longs, descending via the Clarks Arrow route, which skirts the Palisades. It was an awesome tour de Longs!

Click here for pics of the day

Have fun out there! Cheers, ~jilly

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trip Report: Pitchin’ it out in Eldo

Trip Report: Pitchin’ it out in Eldo
Werk Supp, The Bastille, P1 5.8+
Genesis, Redgarden Wall, P1 5.11a
Northwest Corner, The Bastille, P1 5.9
Climbers: Jill Salva, EJ Nogaski, Kevin Bains

Here’s a brief trip report in the order we climbed.

This mornin’ I met up with my co-workers, Kevin Bains and EJ Nogaski for some Eldo fun. We climbed three stellar pitches.

Werk Supp, The Bastille, P1 5.8+
This is a "super-delicious-wow-is-this-for-real" 150 foot crack/flake system, ending at a ledge with chains. Avoid being pulled right down low. Instead, aim for the ring and climb up from there.

Genesis, Redgarden Wall, P1 5.11a
We spotted an albino praying mantis at the base of this climb. Pitch 1: Crank up through a large left-facing, left-leaning corner into the A-shaped roof. Chalk, chalk, and more chalk. Then, pull (and I mean PULL!) left stemming onto a fantastic foothold near both pitons. Step out onto the face. From here it’s lots of "dainty-ballerina" face climbin’. If it’s a breezeless hot day, like this morning, your shoes may have a tendency to grease down the rock in this section. Continue climbing up following the left side of a 5.9ish flake (chalk, chalk and more chalk) to the 2-bolt anchor.

Northwest Corner, The Bastille, P1 5.9
From the ground you’ll be thinkin’ this route looks downward, slopey and weird. Once you’re on it, under cling working up and left across a slab. Keep your feet low and use a .75 cam down low. Once across the slab climb the left-facing dihedral into the crack. Go up the right side of X-M Pinnacle and up the w-i-d-e crack to the bolt belay.

Thanks guys for a great morning! Have fun and be safe out there. Cheers, ~jilly

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Boulder Rock Club, Cycling Club

Sooner or later it was bound to a place where super-active multi-sport-addicted people gather. The Boulder Rock Club now offers no-drop rides twice each week.

Each Tuesday at 6pm and each Saturday at 9am riders meet at the Boulder Rock Club (2829 Mapleton Avenue) then head out to places like Jamestown, Ward and Carter Lake. In August, the crew will ride Copper Triangle.

Jerseys are available for those who want that tribal feel. These rides are open to all, BRC members and non-members. The Cycling Club is free.

For more information please contact the Boulder Rock Club at 303-447-2804 or send me an email. Happy riding. Cheers, ~jilly

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Guide Report: July 14th & July 15th

Guide Report: July 14th & July 15th
Jill Salva
Stone Man Pass
McHenrys Peak
Kawuneeche Valley
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

Saturday, July 14th
Stone Man Pass, McHenry’s Peak

With a full day to myself, I decided to go up and talk with my stone man. Stone Man Pass hovers up high in a cirque above Black Lake. Departing Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 4:50 am I made good time hiking to Black Lake in 1.5 hours. Once there I almost literally ran into a cow elk! She was one of three babysitters for seven young elk. As a species, these noble giants regularly make use of babysitters so that others can wander for food. Elk parents are very protective and fierce in defense of any possible threat, imagined or real. You don’t want to get too close. Their hoofs are like razors.

These elk were in my direct path causing me to gently encourage them to move along so I could scramble up Arrowhead enroute to McHenry’s Cirque. Once up high, I enjoyed viewing the thin ribbon of snow outlining the Trough on Longs Peak.

My Stone Man was in fine form and I took some time to settle in and enjoy this wonderful place. There were three parties of alpinists over on Spearhead. Their voices bounced off the majestic cirque walls reminding me that although I was soloing, I was not alone. After some fun scrambling I eventually meandered back down toward Black Lake, stopping to watch a feisty marmot along the way.

Sunday, July 15th
Tour de Park

Today was a guide day. Three Korean graduate students hired me as their RMNP guide and naturalist. This is the first time I’ve worked with a language interpreter for an entire day. The experience was successful. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge of the RMNP artist-in-residence program, four major ecosystems, trees, geology, weather patterns, history, and wildlife with these world travelers.

Our tour highlight was viewing Moose near the Kawuneeche Visitor Center! This is the first time I have seen moose in RMNP. Within 30 minutes of our first moose sighting, we were treated to a second moose.

Another enjoyable weekend in the park. Click here for pics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gear View: The Triocular ™ & Headlamps

How many of you train in the wee hours of the morning? As a trail runner whose logged countless miles between the early hours of 3:00am & 8:00 am, I’ve been experimenting with headlamps. In the cloak of darkness, as my training partner and I move along rugged terrain, we’ve taken to using 3 headlamps at once for proper trail illumination. We call our 3-headlamp configuration the “Triocular™”. This is one lamp worn on our forehead and 2 smaller lamps mounted on either side of a pair of glasses. My favorite headlamp to use within this configuration is Petzl’s Tikka Plus.

Petzl Tikka Plus
Petzl’s Tikka Plus is my favorite for a number of reasons. Besides the 4 LED bulbs and dimming switch, it ships with a wide elastic headband. The biggest advantage of a wide headband is that it pads the headlamp so it doesn’t dig into your forehead. The elastic band also easily wraps around your bicep and adjusts to accommodate a climbing helmet, wool hat, or sun visor.

Last year, while paddling on the Colorado River one of my Tikka’s became submerged and filled with water, yet it remained fully functional. The tilt options on the Tikka also let users direct the beam of light downward close to their feet or outward, ahead on the trail.

Petzl Zipka Plus
Petzl’s Zipka Plus has the same illumination power as the Tikka Plus but ships with a thin strand of elastic for its headband. This is completely unsuitable for running as it does not stay in place and ends up sliding down your head or forearm. If you’re just hiking, then this slender elastic strand is likely sufficient.

Black Diamond Vectra IQ
While Black Diamond’s technical climbing gear serves me well, their headlamps are prone to shorting out. For a while I used the Vectra IQ. Its 4 LED and Xenon headlamp with 7 modes of operation provide lighting versitility, but the bulk and weight make it slip all over your head while you're motion.

Prosafety LED Light
Florida-based, Prosafety Gear, sent me a headlamp to test. The illumination, lightweight frame, and tilt positions are suitable for civilian purposes, however, the lack of padding on the back of the headlamp cause it to dig into your forehead.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

General Mills, Corporate Group Hike

General Mills, Corporate Group Hike
Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park
2 miles RT, 160 ft elevation gain

My position with the Colorado Mountain School includes guiding up in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).

Recently, I had the honor of guiding some General Mills executives on a hike in RMNP. Our walk followed a delightful trail through shimmering aspens crossing over several mountain streams leading up to scenic Alberta Falls.

This corporate group was as diverse as it gets with representation from many disciplines including finance, marketing, R&D, sales and logistics. These professionals hailed from far away places such as Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, France, and Spain. Their stateside colleagues traveled here from Miami, New York and Minneapolis.

It was a pleasure to share “my park” with them along with its rich history and mountain lore. They in turn, shared bits of themselves with me. It was a total hoot to learn about the traveling Pillsbury Dough Boy. Employees take this chubby icon to exotic locales and take pictures of him, for upload on the company’s Intranet.

After they whipped him out of a backpack and impaled him on the Alberta Falls sign, how could I resist snagging a pic?

Visit the General Mills web site for information on their latest products.
Cheers, ~jilly

Friday, July 6, 2007

Oliver: Opening Night

2007/07/05 Oliver
Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids

“Dream-travelers, there is no path, paths are made by dreaming.”
- Antonio Machado

Opening Night was an amazing experience for both the cast members and the audience. Since early June these young players have been rehearsing: learning lines, blocking scenes and spinning magic dreams in preparation for performing in front of a real audience.

On the surface it seems absurd that there could be a musical based on such a bleak premise. (See Wikipedia for background information and a plot summary of Oliver.) However, the kids pulled it off serving up suspense interspersed with drama and wicked good singing.

When I asked Alison what she liked most about the play, she replied “The bowing at the end.” So there you have it, actors really do live for the applause! Cheers, ~jilly

Monday, July 2, 2007

Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids

Not since performing in Ping Chong’s, The Angels of Swedenborg, have I felt the excitement of opening night at the theatre.

This Thursday, July 5th Alison opens in the cast of Oliver. There is much excitement in our family and her grandmother is flying in from Dallas for this special occasion.

Alison has been working diligently during rehearsals. As a parent, it’s always awesome to watch your child thrive and indeed she is thriving by spending so much time surrounded by her theatrical family!

The Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids runs a professional program. Their summer schedule includes three productions and Alison has been cast in all three shows. As the budding actors hone their craft, they devote their attention to a number of areas. These include:

Set design
Stage management
And more!

With three performances of Oliver this weekend, I’ll be going big inside a dark theater – while my daughter is going big, acting on stage.

For show dates and times, please visit Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids