Everest Rocks for everyone | AspenTimes.com

Everest Rocks for everyone

Stewart Oksenhorn
Aspen, CO Colorado

Aspenite Julie Lampton is hosting and performing at Rock the Wheeler for Everest Rocks, a fundraiser on Monday at 7 p.m. in the lobby of the Wheeler Opera House. The event is free; donations will go toward building the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital in Nepal. (Stewart Oksenhorn/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN ” Everest Rocks seemed to be designed for Aspenite Julie Lampton. The fundraising event, intended to support the Nepal Cancer Relief Society’s effort to build a hospital in Nepal, combined what Lampton identifies as her three favorite things: music, exercise and philanthropy. But for this offseason’s adventure, she had her eye on a diving trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and even the prospect of hiking to Mount Everest Base Camp, accompanied by rock stars, to aid some of the most impoverished people on the planet, wasn’t swaying her.

Then Lampton got the call. Just days after she heard about the Everest Rocks opportunity, she received a letter from an old college roommate from her years at the University of South Carolina. The message was to get in touch; the roommate was dying of cancer.

“It was like a call from the universe to do this concert,” said Lampton, an 18-year resident of Aspen. “A very clear call.”

Now instead of heading to the South Indian Ocean, she will make her way to the Himalayas. Next month, Lampton will embark on a two-week trek to Everest Base Camp. In place of fish and coral, there will be rock stars, including Mike Peters of the Alarm, a cancer survivor and a founder of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, as well as members of the Cult and Squeeze. At Base Camp, the musicians will put on the first-ever acoustic concert there; witnessing the show will be a team of mountaineers, photojournalists and crew from MTV.

Lampton won’t be playing the tunes at the foot of Everest. But she will make some music for the cause. On Monday at 7 p.m., Lampton is hosting a fundraiser, Rock the Wheeler for Everest Rocks, in the lobby of the Wheeler Opera House. Lampton, who plays guitar in weekly gigs in a Hunter Creek condo, will appear with members of her Tuesday Night Bluegrass Band and special guests John Sommers and Sandy Munro. Also on the bill are local players Dan Sheridan, Kory Krahl, Bobby Mason, Geraldine Simer, Rich Ganson and Dave Notor. The evening will also feature hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, Admission is free, and donations will be accepted.

Simply making up her mind that she wanted to participate in Everest Rocks did not insure that Lampton would be included. First she had to have her application approved. But those reviewing her application had to be impressed by her resume: Lampton has four jobs, three of them revolving around music ” at the Great Divide Music Store, at the Wheeler Opera House box office, and for the Aspen Music Festival ” and one as a skiing instructor.

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Lampton also had to get over her own concerns about her fitness for the trek. But that wasn’t too difficult; she has been a serious athlete with 41 triathlons and six marathons under her belt. And while injuries have cut down some on her extreme activities, Lampton only had to consider the company she’d be keeping as she hiked.

“I keep thinking I’m not in good enough shape for this,” she said. “Then I remind myself, I’m going with rock stars from Wales. I’ve got to have a better shot at this than them.”