Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Ed Webster’s “Everest the Hard Way”

04/08/2012

Ed, at a book signing

I happened by the Kittery Trading Post last month, and there was climber, Ed Webster doing a book signing.  I had never met him, but certainly knew of him. I was instantly drawn to his book-signing table, as he talked with a family of four who wanted to know more about getting started in the sport of rock climbing. He seemed engaged and affable. Ed authored a rock climbing guidebook to the the White Mountains area which I carried with me on my early climbs in New Hampshire. It sits on my bookshelf, beat up from use. He’s also got quite a reputation as a climber.

Ed was recently in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee region presenting his slide show, Everest the Hard Way.  His 1988 Everest Kangshung Face new route, (more…)

A Restored Mountain Hut Getaway with Good Energy

11/01/2012

A New Zealand Farmer Does Good by Following His Passion

Tom O'Brien of High Country Walks

Tom O’Brien, owner of Blackmore Farm and founder of High Country Walks has followed his passion by offering up a little hut on the back side of his 5000 acre farm. Called the Chinaman’s Hut, it was restored some years ago, by local volunteers, Tom and his father. The hut is situated on the rolling mountains of the Slate Range,  just south of the Remarkables Mountains, on the border of Otago and Southland. Tom took the afternoon to show me his farm, the backcountry and the Chinaman’s Hut. below is a short piece on the hut, and a chat with Tom about his philosophy and passion of sharing this part of the world with others.We’re in hopes, here at Mountain Spirit Institute of collaborating with Tom by running some programs on the Slate Range and Blackmore Farm. We chatted about providing Solo’s and other types of programs.
Thanks for the time you took to show me around Tom!
Note: I’ve met one of the volunteers who helped restore the Chinaman’s Hut, a neighbor of ours here in Kingston named Dusty, who I’ll see if I can get on tape in the next few days. He has an interesting story to tell of not only this restoration project by many others.

Why We Need Live Music – Part 1

17/10/2009

By Randall Richards

Joel Cage prior to taking the stage

Joel Cage prior to taking the stage

Tonight, I just heard my good friend Joel Cage play an evening at our local Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse. This will be one of the harder posts to write because no words will justify the experience. You had to be there.  Nevertheless…

Joel played to a small audience tonight. He’s always been the consummate professional. When I first heard him during our early days, when the CoffeeHouse was just starting out in Sunapee Harbor, he blew us all away with his style and technical know how.  But hearing him tonight was like hearing a different person. He seems wise beyond his years, and presents an affable, grounded style.

Joel in action at SCC

Joel in action at SCC

Aside from his stunning guitar playing and vocals, he’s really made a major shift skyward. His whole energy, the way he takes the stage, the feeling put into every note, brings the audience, (at least those willing to go), to a new level of warmth and community.  It seems he’s been on a long journey in a short time. He’s making the most of his journey with the time he’s given – that is clear.

The first thing I noticed immediately, was his total commitment to the performance, right from the first note. The second thing I noticed about Joel, was his guitar.
At first I thought, “That’s an interesting sound hole placement for a *guitar”, and “what a cool finish and woodwork.”  Then I realized what I was seeing. It wasn’t a sound hole. Joel had actually worn away the finish, and then the wood just above the strings with his strumming, until he created the hole after years of playing .”  That in itself might be a curiosity, but it’s how he plays the thing, and how he and the guitar are one. The guitar is an extension of Joel. (*see image)

Joel Cage consciously creates a space, for himself, the audience, and each person in the room. He’s got the technical skills to pull off an amazing performance, but more importantly has put the heart behind his craft that puts him at the cutting edge, leading the way.

Read this book.

Read this book.

Often I talk about leadership in these posts, and the “Courage to Create” comes to mind (Read Rollo May’s book about this, with the same title). Joel is a true leader. It takes courage to present and show a new way, and break the mold of what we think music should or shouldn’t be. The gift that Joel brought to the audience tonight, was his ruthless walk to the edge and his skill in bringing us with him on his journey. Thanks Joel, we’ll be making the trip to see you tomorrow night, at The Mill. Keep up the good work.

This is why we need live music. Unplug the computer, the TV and get out to hear someone play this weekend, or pick up a guitar and play it. To be continued.

Room for Improvement Dept.

18/08/2009

By Randall Richards
I finally had to do it – I had to open up a “Room for Improvement Department”.  I’ve been holding off for as long as possible. I almost started the category in New Zealand but didn’t really feel the need. Now I must say, I do. And I think you’ll see a few more entries under this category in the next day or so.

"Wealth Group" Visits Machu Picchu

"Wealth Group" Visits Machu Picchu

When at Machu Picchu the other day, Amanda and I sat at the “Sacred Rock” area to Machu Picchu’s north end, and along with some French, observed a curious looking group. They were obviously Americans, but seemed to be huddled around someone or something.  There also appeared a professional film crew hovering around the group, complete with sound man with headphones, camera man and assistant. There were a few people hugging  for long periods of time. While I hug as well, something seemed a bit odd about all this.  When I quietly approached the group, I saw an elderly Quechua man and woman in traditional dress waiting, waiting for (it seemed more like “attending”) the group, apparently as local knowledge of some sort. I still really couldn’t see the focus of the group’s attention, so I retreated and upon doing so, asked the film crew what this was all about.

Wealth Group Guru

Wealth Group Guru

They replied that “This was a wealth creation group” and the founder of the organization was leading the group of “V.I.P’s” here at Machu Picchu.” He added that, “the leader takes people to various sites worldwide such as the Egyptian Pyramids.”

“So, a pyramid business?” I asked. “Well yeah” he responded.

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