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Elevate your Life

Main Event:

October 1st, 2019 | Doors open at 5:30pm
Mountain Chalet | Aspen, CO

The Aspen Times invites you to join us for our first annual Longevity Project. Learn about what it takes to live a long, full life at high altitudes. We will host a panel discussion of local experts along with National Geographic speaker and adventurer Mike Libecki’s keynote address. Mike Libecki will speak to what it takes to thrive at high elevations.

The panel will include Olympic silver medalist and Aspen native Alex Ferreira; local ski mountaineer Christy Mahon; representatives from Mountain Rescue Aspen and Aspen Valley Hospital; and Aspen Strong founder Christina King. The Oct. 1 event will be the cumulation of a four-week series in The Aspen Times on Longevity and living in the mountains, from general health effects to exercise to our need for adventure.

Keynote Speaker – Mike Libecki
Driven by an insatiable zest for life, Libecki is celebrated for climbing big walls, including a staggering number of first ascents. With more than 60 expeditions under his belt, he is tireless in his quest to bring the world home to us. Mike was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2013.

Panelist – Tomas Pevny, MD
Originally from Bratislava, Slovakia, Dr. Pevny is the fourth generation of doctors in the Pevny family. He earned his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine, and his passion for sports led him to Aspen to complete the Rocky Mountain Sports Medicine Fellowship. His professional interests include disorders of the shoulder and knee. He established the total joint replacement surgery at Aspen Valley Hospital, which prior to his arrival was not available. Dr. Pevny is a member of many local and national orthopedic societies and is involved in research in the area of sports medicine and joint replacement. He teaches sports medicine fellows the newest techniques in knee and shoulder surgery as well as total joint replacement. He has published numerous articles and book chapters.

Panelist – Alex Ferreira
An Aspen native and graduate of Aspen High School, the freeskier won a sliver medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics in the halfpipe, and in 2019 won his first Winter X Games gold medal in front of his home crowd. He now has five X Games medals, and his gold medal hangs over his bed. Alex has been a member of the U.S. Ski Team since 2015 and currently is enrolled at Colorado Mountain College. The 24-year-old Alex continues to live and volunteer in the area, and this past summer helped out at a camp hosted by the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, which he grew up with. He is a major supporter and speaker for the Shred Hate initiative, which strives to end bullying in schools.

Panelist – Christy Mahon
One of the most accomplished ski mountaineers in the area, Christy was the first woman to climb and ski all of Colorado’s 100 highest mountains, including all 54 higher than 14,000 feet. She was a nominee for National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2016. Now, the Colorado native who moved to Aspen after college is working on Colorado peaks Nos. 101 to 200. With an infectious smile and contagious spirit, Christy’s love of the mountains translates to her work as the development director for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. In addition to mountaineer, Christy runs in marathons and ultramarathons. She does not consider herself a professional athlete and her mantra that gets her through the challenging times: “I got this.”

Panelist – Greg Shaffran
Born and raised in Aspen, Greg is a software entrepreneur and avalanche educator who has been a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen since 2011. A passionate skier and adventurer, Greg has been engaged in the realm of mountain safety as a professional and volunteer for many years. During that time, he has worked as a private chef, backcountry ski guide, and software implementation specialist. Greg is a board member for Colorado’s first hut system, the Alfred A. Braun Hut System, and an advocate for Response, a local nonprofit dedicated to domestic violence awareness and outreach.

Panelist – Christina King
Christina is the founder of the local nonprofit Aspen Strong, which promotes mental hygiene and connects people with mental health resources in the Roaring Fork Valley. She is a licensed professional counselor specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy. A Philadelphia native, she graduated from Penn State and West Chester University with her master’s in clinical psychology. Christina began her therapeutic career in community mental health directing acute and partial programs hospital programs. She also is the co-founder of Changing Brains, Changing Lives Symposium (which this year is Oct. 22-23). She sits on the Pitkin County Board of Health. Christina is a member of the Denver Speaker Bureau and has been recognized for her leadership and advocacy in mental health.

Moderator – Penn Newhard
A St. Louis kid and graduate of Brown University, Penn left his job as a Wall Street municipal bond trader in 1989 to relocate to Aspen. His first winter here he worked as a snowmaker at Aspen Mountain and then with the racing department. He spent the summers on the river, eventually leading to a post as advertising director a Climbing Magazine in 1992. Penn founded Backbone Media in 1997 with two employees and one phone. His enthusiasm and unbridled energy have helped the Carbondale-based Backbone grow to more than 45 employees and more than 70 brands.

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