Clark’s “Nolan’s 14”: Screening at Nugget Sunday, 11/23/2014

Clark’s “Nolan’s 14”: Screening at Nugget Sunday, 11/23/2014

Filmmaker and elite athlete Ben Clark screens his latest film about “Nolan’s 14,” the biggest mountain line in North America, perhaps the world. Show time is Sunday, 7:30 p.m., at the Nugget. Free to all, including swag.

Lo res poster copy

Think you’re tough?

Think you are hardwired for serious adventure?

A glutton for punishment?

Well then, chew on this.

Nolan’s 14 is a run over the 14 summits over 14,000 ft. in Colorado’s Sawatch Range, from Mt. Massive to Mt. Shavano in either direction. You can choose your own route between summits, but the most practical routes have been estimated to be 88 to 106 miles with just over 90,000 vertical feet of gain. Cutoff is 60 hours to the last summit.

Nolan’s 14 is not a race. Theoretically, anyone can climb the route at any time of year, however, runners (and crew if you have one) must follow wilderness regulations. Which means group size is limited to 15. No course markings may be used. No stashing  of food and water on the course. Trash has to be packed out. Crew access is either on roads outside the wilderness or is backpacked in. In addition, no pacers are allowed, no mechanical aids such as walking sticks or GPS either. Leaving the course is also a no-no.

The name? Jim Nolan was a mountaineer who had “bagged” all 54 of the 14ers in Colorado. Asked by a follow mountaineer (back in 1991) how many he thought he could put in a point-to-point 100-mile course, his answer was “14.”

In 1998, prior to the Hardrock Hundred, a group of seriously gnarly mountaineers, including Fred Vance, Blake Wood, and Charlie Thorn met in Silverton, establishing Nolan’s 14 as an adventure run which Outside since dubbed “The Everest of ultra running.”

Between 1999 – 2002, four people finished the course, then the event went underground, resurfacing as a challenge in 2012 when three individuals completed the challenge. In 2013, the number of attempts rose to eight; in 2014, 20 athletes tried the route – including Telluride local Ben Clark. In all, according to the official website, only seven people have completed the run since its inception.

Clark made three attempts at Nolan’s Run, but each time he was turned back by extreme weather. In the end, he made a film instead, “Nolan’s 14.”

Clark’s 47-minute doc features ultra running superstars and tells the history of Nolan’s 14. The film screens Sunday, November 23, at Telluride’s Nugget Theatre. The event includes a raffle for five Osprey packs, plus free hats, totes and Clif bar products. Proceeds of the raffle are dedicated to the Telluride Mountain Club. And when you purchase the video online, $1 from each download goes to Paradox Sports, a non-profit dedicated to fostering an individual’s potential and strength, especially those with physical disabilities. Paradox Sports is dedicated to providing inspiration, opportunities and specialized adaptive equipment so that anyone is able to be an active participant in human-powered sports.

To view a trailer:

Nolan’s 14 – Trailer from Pheonix and Ash Productions on Vimeo.

About Ben Clark:

Ben Clark

Ben Clark

Telluride local Ben Clark is a commercial filmmaker and elite athlete (sponsored  by Osprey, among others.)

In 2002, at the age of 23, Ben became the youngest American to summit Mount Everest. He spent the next 10 years, pioneering routes in the Himalaya, which he climbed, skied and filmed, creating popular expedition footage, “Ski the Himalayas.”

In 2012, following the birth of son Charlie, Clark decided it was time to minimize the very serious risks inherent in his annual forays to the Himalayas. Hiking, running and bushwhacking Nolan’s 14? A worthy challenge Ben still plans to complete in 2015.

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