Aspen Times Weekly: Current Events
The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) hosts the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Wheeler Opera House on Wednesday, March 18.
Emceed by hometown girl and X Games snowboard champion Gretchen Bleiler, the evening will feature 13 inspiring short films from the long-running Nevada City, Calif., film festival. The festival’s movies blend outdoor adventure, activism, conservation and sheer beauty, taking audiences around the world on land, snow and water, from Utah to Ethiopia, Namibia to Norway, with some familiar faces like Jeremy Jones and Pete McBride.
The diverse lineup of films — none of which have previously screened in the valley — range from “The Great Frack Forward,” an investigation of how China is using American-style natural gas technology to wean itself off coal, to “The Joy of Air,” a sumptuous visual celebration of jumping off stuff narrated with poetry read by a young boy. Also included are the Oscar-nominated documentary short “White Earth,” about immigrant oil workers in North Dakota, and Basalt filmmaker Pete McBride’s “River of Eden,” about conservation in the Fijian Highlands.
Tickets are $12 ($15 at the door). They’re available at the Wheeler box office and http://www.aspenshowtix.com.
Proceeds from the night of film benefit ACES’ Tomorrow’s Voices program, in honor of the late Willard Clapper, who co-founded it with A.O. Forbes of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. The program, founded in 2000, merged with ACES in 2010. It provides extracurricular environmental education programs and lessons on civics and ethics for Roaring Fork Valley high school students, putting young people in dialogue with community members.
Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez will return to Aspen for a two-night, four-show run at the JAS Café this weekend. Sanchez, a multiple Grammy winner, most recently played the Café last summer. With an eight-piece band and a signature sound that blends Latin, soul, swing, bebop and more, the percussionist’s sounds make the club at the Little Nell — and the audience — shake.
Performances are March 13 and 14 at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $45 and available at 866-JAS-TIXX or online at http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org.
Hobbyists and hardcore mountaineers alike will convene at the base of Aspen Mountain on Saturday morning for the annual America’s Uphill. The race up Ajax’s 3,000-plus feet of vertical is a local spring tradition, with hundreds of racers banding together for the sufferfest and making their way up on snowshoes, spikes, splitboards, Nordic skis, alpine touring set-ups and all manner of gear to the finish line at the Sundeck.
The race starts at 7 a.m. Registration is $40 in advance at Ute Mountaineer and $50 on race day. More info at http://www.utemountaineer.com.
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Many locations on Basalt Mountain were barren as recently as two months ago. However, nutrients unlocked during the Lake Christine Fire and a wet winter have sparked a remarkable recovery. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is leading fire ecology tours to discuss the changes.