Meet Glitter Girl Margo Talbot at Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library this Thursday, January 12, at 6pm, for a reading and discussion of her first book All That Glitters: A Climber’s Journey Through Addiction and Depression.

Sometimes you have to go through a little hell to get a piece of heaven. Or to at least achieve enough peace within to greet each day like a chipper chirping bird. According to the interview I read about Margo in this year’s Ouray Ice Festival program, she woke up one morning in 1988 with blood on her hands but no memory of why. “I felt like a hollowed-out shell, eerily empty and devoid of hope. For months I had barely been functioning. The hardest thing was waking up and realizing I had to make it through another day. On this morning, birds were chirping outside my window, and I told myself that if they could be so thrilled about the new day, surely I could get out of bed. Yet within hours of comparing myself with the birds, I was calling the suicide crisis hotline.” What led up to that bleak point, from childhood on, and then the journey to the moment when a client she was guiding in the mountains of Antarctica remarked that she, Margo, was living “the dream life,” is the story that unfolds in her startlingly candid book. In November, it was a finalist in the Banff Mountain Book Competition, a long-held literary tradition during the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival. (It was through Banff’s Mountain Writing Program that this Glitter Girl put pen to paper and came out on top.) Her resume also includes authoring numerous first ascents in Canada, competing in the ESPN X-Games, running a guiding company for women called The Glitter Girls, and instigating/contributing to the 4th edition of Waterfall Ice Climbs in the Canadian Rockies.

The connection to the San Juans is through a bevy of friends and steep sparkly ice. As a former competitor at the Ice Fest and now clinic guide with Ridgway-based Chicks with Picks, Margo’s face-wide smile and clear eyes are a fixture in the world-renown park of bluish blobs and icicles. Hailing from Winlaw, British Columbia, she and her Aussie partner Warren Macdonald, a former Mountainfilm guest and extreme double-amputee athlete featured in the film “The Second Step” and book “A Test of Will,” are a formidable example of perseverance through inward evolution. We in Telluride know all too well how fleetingly easy it is to lose a dear friend to inner demons, ones that are often masked behind big smiles on Main Street. Pain can grow to outsize even the biggest personality, and the attempt to dull it in unhealthy ways is too often the path taken.

In addition to her rough-n-tumble journey up to now, we’ll touch upon the joys of her positive addiction—icy mountains—and the wonderful people she has met (and sadly lost) along the way. In Margo’s self-empowered healing words, “I have known darkness and have chosen the light.” Hear, hear, Glitter Girl!

PS: Margo will be the keynote speaker at the annual Chicks with Picks Silent Auction & Fundraiser for local women’s shelters and the Ice Park on Saturday, Jan 14th, at 7pm in Ouray. Remind your friends on that side of the pass …

One Response

  1. I briefly met Margo at the Ice Fest last week. She’s a great inspiration. I’m sad I won’t be able to attend, but I highly recommend these two events to everyone.