Locals can enjoy Outdoor Fest for $50 | AspenTimes.com

Locals can enjoy Outdoor Fest for $50

Aspen Times Staff Report

When the International Outdoor Festival rolls into Aspen later this month, locals will get a chance to rub shoulders with some of the world’s greatest outdoor adventurers for only $50.

Numerous workshops – such as trekking with Jamling Tenzing Norgay or climbing with Neal Beidleman – are being offered individually for people who are limited by time, budget or both. Roaring Fork Valley residents in particular are being targeted with the individual workshops, said festival organizer Peter Johnson.

The $50 workshops, each about 2 1/2 hours long, aren’t the “dregs” that can’t be sold to regular festival attendees. Some of the most popular courses by some of the biggest names on the guest instructor list are being offered.

On the opening day of the festival alone, Thursday, Aug. 24, there are morning sessions that include a cycling course on pacing technique with Rishi and Tammy Grewal and an introduction to climbing mixed ice, snow and rock with Ed Viesturs and Sue Nott. The afternoon offerings include trekking with Sherpa Jamling Tenzing Norgay.

Classes on fly fishing, paragliding, high altitude mountaineering and even outdoor photography are available in $50 workshops throughout Sunday.

A complete schedule of those workshops is available by calling Aspen Central Reservations at 877-702-7736 or checking http://www.outdoorfestival.com on the Internet.

The inaugural International Outdoor Festival is designed to attract people with a wide variety of interests. For the regular $575 fee, attendees get to choose 17 courses and workshops among 55 on the menu.

Johnson and the sponsors hope attendees and people who sign up for just one course are inspired to try something new. Johnson said he always intended to offer space for individual workshops, but wanted to wait until closer to the festival to see what was still available.

The offerings aren’t a reflection that registration hasn’t been going well, he said. The Web site has attracted worldwide interest.

“We think the nature of this beast is intriguing internationally,” Johnson said.

Space in the individual $50 workshops is limited, so people are urged to register as soon as possible. Those who register will receive an Adidas duffel bag filled with schwag, and will be eligible for a drawing for items like Mountain Hardware gear and a Schwinn bicycle.

In addition to the individual workshops, a number of events will be open to the public either free of charge or for a nominal fee.

Part of the proceeds from the event will support Mountain Rescue-Aspen, Challenge Aspen and the Aspen Youth Council, according to Johnson.

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