Going global: Alpenglow Sports kicks off 15th annual virtual Winter Speaker Series with Tahoe local Dave Nettle | SierraSun.com
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Going global: Alpenglow Sports kicks off 15th annual virtual Winter Speaker Series with Tahoe local Dave Nettle

Submitted to the Sierra Sun

On Thursday, Nov. 19, Alpenglow Sports will be welcoming local guide Dave Nettle as the first speaker of the 15th annual virtual Winter Speaker Series, presented by Peak Design. Established in 2006, the Alpenglow Sports Winter Speaker Series is a free event designed to motivate, inspire and educate. Traditionally held at Squaw Valley’s Olympic Village Lodge, the Winter Speaker Series is a five-part series that showcases one show per month from November through February. Due to the global pandemic, Alpenglow Sports will take the 2020-21 season “on the road” to living rooms around the globe in a virtual capacity. Past speakers include Lynn Hill, Jeremy Jones, Tommy Caldwell, Chris Burkard, Alex Honnold, Emily Harrington and more.

In addition to Dave Nettle’s kick-off, other presenters at the 2020/21 season include famed athletes Cody Townsend, Angel Collinson, Ingrid Backstrom and Vasu Sojitra. According to Alpenglow owner and series coordinator Brendan Madigan, “While we will miss the electrifying in-person evenings the series provides, this is the next best thing and we’re excited to open the series up to a global audience.” Madigan added, “We know that the larger mountain community around the world will appreciate the power of adventure storytelling that the Winter Speaker Series embodies … as well as the magnitude of our fundraising for local nonprofits.”

In his kick-off show “Sheltering in Place,” Dave Nettle will blend challenge and adventure into classic stories and images about a couple of climbing trips to Alaska on Moose’s Tooth and Mount Huntington and an expedition into the Kichatna Spires.  Nettle will depict how on these climbs he and his partners found themselves unintentionally experiencing what it means to “shelter in place” while literally “stuck in place” tent bound deep in a remote mountain range for over two weeks of intense, continual snow storms.  In traditional fashion, Nettle will bring lighthearted humor and fun to the soul-crushing effect of what so many days of uncertainty look like while trapped in the middle of nowhere with limited supplies and at the complete mercy of the weather.  Nettle will round out his show with a couple of recent COVID influenced rock climbing adventures that allowed him to pursue his passion closer to home while following required and common-sense pandemic restrictions.

Famed local ski mountaineer Cody Townsend continues the series on Thursday, Dec. 3 with his show “The Best Three So Far: Stories Behind The Fifty Project.” Townsend is on a well-publicized and passionately followed webisode project to ski the fifty most challenging, beautiful and classic backcountry ski lines in North America. His show will take you behind the scenes of ski descents on the Grand Teton, Alaska’s coveted Meteorite and the highest peak in North America, 20,308-foot Denali.

The third show of the season welcomes the new year on Thursday, Jan. 7 with extreme skiing icon Angel Collinson. Her show “Another Half-Mile” will depict funny and serious stories from her childhood, her evolution as an extreme skier at Utah’s famous Snowbird Resort, and how she has utilized these life lessons during expeditions and on some of the most extreme ski descents ever captured on film. Collinson was the first woman to win Powder Magazine’s “Best Line” award and is a mainstay in annual Teton Gravity Research films.

Ingrid Backstrom, another extreme skier of international fame, will present at the fourth show of the 2020/21 Alpenglow Sports Winter Speaker Series on Thursday, Feb. 4. Backstrom, who established herself in Matchstick Production’s 2004 Yearbook, was the only female to be featured as one of Powder Magazine’s Future Big Mountain Heroes in 2002. She has also won the prestigious awards for performances in ski films including “Best Female Performance” and “Breakthrough Performance” at the 2005 Powder Magazine Video Awards. Backstrom resides in Washington with her husband and young daughter and her show “Little Big Mountain Skiing” will depict a few of her best trips and ski lines, followed by the transition of a continuing ski career while becoming a mother.

The Winter Speaker Series wraps on Thursday, Feb. 25, with a presentation from professional skier Vasu Sojitra. For 28 years, Vasu Sojitra has navigated life with one leg, an amputation that occurred when he was only nine months old. Now 29, Vasu is one of the top adaptive athletes and backcountry skiers in the world, and is known for putting down First Disabled Descents (FDDs). However, that’s not where he stops. His true passion lies in making the outdoors accessible to all. He has coined his approach to backcountry skiing as “ninjasticking,” and uses this to bring intersectionality to the outdoor space. Sojitra’s show will look at this intersectionality in-depth, and how reclaiming and breaking down stigmas that come with a Disability can change how transformation of outdoor spaces are viewed, welcomed and celebrated.

Admission for all virtual Winter Speaker Series shows is free of charge and all ages are welcome. To register for Dave Nettle’s show “Sheltering in Place,” and to purchase automatic entries into the giveaway, visit wildboundlive.com/events/alpenglownettle. Access to the event will be emailed following registration. 

The raffle will still be held in a virtual capacity with tickets available for purchase before each show. Proceeds from each raffle will benefit the five hand-picked nonprofit organizations for the 2020/21 season including, the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Community House, the Tahoe Fund and Tahoe Institute for Natural Science. The Donor Party, an anonymous philanthropic arm of the Speaker Series, will supplement the funds raised via the raffle.


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