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Everest Rocks: Music, Movie and Making a Difference Tonight at the Wheeler Opera House

Jamie Lynn Miller's picture

Walk the walk, raise the funds and hike to the top of Mt. Everest for the world's highest rock concert: 20-year Aspen local Julie Lampton is always doing something rather exotic during off-season. Most recently, Lampton found a way to blend two of her greatest passions – music and exercise – and raise money for cancer research in a creative, high-altitude fashion.

Along with the international Love Hope Strength Foundation, Lampton set out to Climb Back From Cancer, by trekking to the world’s highest beat. Love Hope Strength is the brainchild of cancer survivor Mike Peters, of The Alarm. Fellow musicians Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram of The FIxx and Glen Tillbrook of Squeeze soon jumped on board and a mission through music was born. With Everest Rocks, their goal was to raise money for a local cancer center in Nepal, while setting the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest concert on land. Through each subsequent adventure, to Machu Picchu and now, Kilimanjaro, the musicians and trekkers raise thousands of dollars for each region’s local cancer centers and related research worldwide and then head to the top of these “local” peaks to savor the panoramic, surround-sound acoustics of a one-of-a-kind outdoor rock show.

Lampton first raised funds for the Everest trek, in 2007; she then headed up Machu Picchu in 2008. She’s now gearing up to top Kilimanjaro for Kilimanjaro Rocks, September 27, while striving to raise $9000 to fund bone marrow drives in the area and benefit the main cancer center in East Africa. Tonight’s free event and documentary, Everest Rocks, chronicles the Everest adventure alongside cancer survivors, musicians and summiteers. Everest Rocks screens at the Wheeler Opera House with all donations benefiting the Love Hope Strength Foundation and Kilimanjaro Rocks; join the opening reception with the Tuesday Night Bluegrass Band at 6:30 p.m., documentary to follow.

“Taking the fight against cancer to new heights” is Love Hope Strength’s catch-phrase, and Lampton is well-qualified for the journey. She’s competed in 41 triathlons and six marathons, while divvying up her spare time teaching skiing, smiling at the Wheeler Opera House ticket office, welcoming you at the Aspen Music Festival and School Music Tent and singing with the Aspen Choral Society, among other innumerable contributions to the spirit of the Aspen community. Enamored with all things musical, she finally picked up the guitar and decided to strum the strum, so to speak; she began playing bluegrass with some friends in an undisclosed location, but the group has since left the building to play around town.

While the athletic challenge of trekking up renowned peaks seems par for her course, the path to spiritual growth is endless. “The exhilaration of raising money for people who wouldn’t otherwise receive any care; the deep, abiding connections I’ve formed with fellow trekkers of Love Strength Hope; the adventure I’ve experienced - it’s unparalleled,” says Lampton.

Tonight’s event brings the adventure to you. Enjoy the opening reception and bluegrass at 6:30 p.m. and Everest Rocks documentary will follow. All donations go towards the $9,000 Kilimanjaro Rocks fundraising goal to provide cancer patients worldwide with access to proper care. To find out more, to donate and to learn how to become a fellow trekker, email Julie at: guitarjl@hotmail.com.