Lake Steam Baths, gnomes on the range, and more drops in the 2014 bucket list

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Bucket lists, by their very nature, are a celebration of the ephemeral -- a wish list of fleeting activities to experience before the mortal coil goes into a death spiral. The following experiences, however, are united by a sense of enduring history, of continuing traditions that will persist past the expiration dates of our own lives.

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Cruising Colfax, Casa Bonita and more drops in the 2014 bucket list

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Reel Rock 8's climbing films leave audiences with a lot to digest

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Scott Lentz
Hirayama, Woods, Findlay and company take the stage.
Sender Films had the story of the year fall into its lap through pure chance. The Boulder-based climbing filmmakers had sent a cameraman to follow the mountain-scaling superteam of Ueli Steck and Simone Moro as they attempted to climb a new route across Everest and its neighboring peak, Lhotse, when the pair became involved in a physical confrontation with a group of sherpas that left both climbers bruised and shaken, ending their expedition and vaulting them into magazine and newspaper headlines around the world.

See also: Reel Rock 8 returns to Boulder with its most controversial film ever

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Reel Rock 8 returns to Boulder with its most controversial film ever

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Boulder-based climber Daniel Woods in "The Sensei"
Photo courtesy Sender Films
The eighth annual Reel Rock tour, the traveling climbing film show that has become the gold standard in its field over the past decade, launches in Boulder tonight at the Chautauqua Auditorium. On the menu are four new flicks from Sender Films and Big UP productions, including the controversial and much-anticipated film High Tension: Ueli Steck and the Clash on Everest about this spring's brawl between Sherpas and western climbers on the world's highest peak.

See also: Reel Rock 7 Tour: Hottest ticket in town?

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Reel Rock 7 Tour: Hottest ticket in town?

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Sender Films
Alex Honnold's free solo climbs of Yosemite's Triple Crown star in Honnold 3.0.
File under you know you're in Boulder when....Promoters of the Reel Rock Tour announced last night that tickets for the kickoff of their package tour of the year's best climbing films on Thursday at Chautauqua Auditorium have already sold out, and that there are only about 100 tickets left out of a total of 1,326 created when a second night of screenings was added on Friday. (get 'em while they're hot for $17 at Chautauqua.com).

See also:
- Was the IFSC World Cup Lead Climbing competition an Olympic sneak peek?
- Ski porn! Westword's guide to this season's biggest ski & snowboard video premieres
- Paul Ryan returns to Colorado as group questions whether he climbed nearly40 14ers


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Mountaineering legend Fred Beckey, 89, signing books tonight at Patagonia Boulder

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Fred Beckey, author of more than a dozen mountaineering guides, has made more first ascents than any other North American climber -- and possibly more than any climber anywhere. And that's not just because he's been at it the longest, though the fact that he just turned 89 and is still bagging first ascents is going to make his records awfully tough to top. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Beckey will be talking about his latest book, Fred Beckey's 100 Favorite North American Climbs, to Patagonia Boulder, 1425 Pearl Street, where he'll be introduced by Patagonia CEO Casey Sheahan.

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Was the IFSC World Cup Lead Climbing competition an Olympic sneak peek?

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Austrian climbers dominated both the men's and women's competition this past weekend, before a sold-out crowd at Movement Climbing + Fitness in Boulder for the 2011 International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Lead Climbing World Cup. Many climbers -- and climbing fans -- hope this event was a preview of the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, since sport climbing has been short-listed by the International Olympic Committee for possible inclusion as a medal event.

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Q&A: Director Anson Fogel brings Cold to the Reel Rock Film Tour

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"What the fuck am I doing here?" asks mountain climber Cory Richards, in the opening seconds of Cold, one of six climbing films featured in the 2011 Reel Rock Film Tour that kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. at the Boulder Theater. It's a poignant question: Richards is at 21,959' and freezing his ass off at -51 degrees on February 2, 2011 when he asks it, taking a moment to speak to the camera for posterity just in case he doesn't make it through the ascent of Gasherbrum II, a 26,362' peak in the Himalayas that had foiled all previous winter attempts.

We caught up with Anson Fogel, the Carbondale-based filmmaker responsible for shaping Richards' footage from the trip into one of the year's most chilling documentaries, to see if he came away from the project with any answers.

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Challenge21 climber Jake Norton sets out for three tallest peaks on each continent

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Jake Norton, from Golden, CO, is attempting to climb the Triple Seven Summits -- the three highest peaks on each continent -- to raise money to support the Denver-based non-profit Water for People
Jake Norton, a mountain climber from Golden, CO, is in Uganda this week to climb Mount Stanley's Margherita Peak, a 16,763' peak in the Ruwnezori Range, as the next step in what he's calling Challenge21. Climbing the Seven Summits -- the tallest peaks on each continent -- has long been a hallmark achievement for climbers around the world; Norton's tripling up the ante and going for the Triple Seven Summits, aiming to be the first climber to bag the three tallest peaks on each continent, 21 peaks in all, in an effort to raise $2.1 million for the Denver-based non-profit Water For People and draw attention to the global water crisis.

We caught up with Norton by email from Africa, where he'll also be climbing Kenya's 17,057' Mount Kenya this month (he's already crossed Africa's tallest peak -- Tanzania's 19,340' Mount Kilimanjaro -- off his list, having previously made the summit three times) to learn more about Challenge21, the work of Water for People, and the allure of the world's tallest mountains.

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I Made It: Celebrating the human-powered spirit of mountaineer Göran Kropp

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In 1996, adventurer Göran Kropp famously set out by bike from his home in Sweden, loaded with gear, and rode all the way to Nepal to climb Mount Everest. He made the summit on May 23 of that year, without bottled oxygen and without Sherpa support, then climbed down, got back on his bike, and rode home. I Made It: Göran Kropp's Incredible Journey to the Top of the World, a 46-minute documentary of that human-powered triumph, won the Best of Banff Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 1998 and gets a rare public screening tonight at 8 p.m. at Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder.

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Are climbing and roller derby destined for the Olympics? Colorado's ready to rock the world

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Last week we reported on the International Olympic Committee's announcement that ski and snowboard slopestyle events have officially been added as medal sports for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and on the local ramifications of that decision. And wait, there's more: Other big news with a solid local angle coming out of the 123rd IOC session in Durban, South Africa includes the announcement that sport climbing -- including lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering as individual disciplines -- is one of eight new sports being considered for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Games, with the International Federation of Sport Climbing as the recognized sanctioning body.

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