Fritz Stammberger Film in Aspen Tonight & Sierra Avalanche may have been a bad one

Post by blogger | February 2, 2006      

Update: It appears there may have been an avalanche tragedy in the Sierra backcountry today. Let’s pray it’s not another group accident… more here.

Fritz Stammberger is an iconic figure in North American ski mountaineering. He did the first ski descent of Colorado’s North Maroon peak the same spring that Bill Briggs did the first ski descent of Wyoming’s Grand Teton. Both descents were equally groundbreaking and highly influential in the development of North American extreme skiing. Stammberger was also a devoted Himalayan mountaineer, did some wild stuff over there, and made a movie about Himalayan adventure. Long lost to the public, the film “Death Zone” was released in 1974 and told a slightly hyperbolic but compelling story. It’s being shown tonight at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, 7 PM.

While I’m sure the dated nature of “Death Zone” will be good for some laughs, my recollection is that it was a somewhat ground breaking film, and had some cool stuff in it (I saw it in the 1970s). Some of Stammberger’s climbing partners will be there to chat and share stories (Fritz was lost in the Himalayas in 1975).

Along with Stammberger’s flick, ski mountaineer Mike Marolt will show a mountaineering film he made that emphasizes the journey rather than the goals.

The event is free. I’ll be there tonight to do a brief introduction to the Stammberger film — hope to see some blog readers there!

For more about Stammberger, check out this excerpt from my Wild Snow book.


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