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Ridgeway, Anker Kick Off Rowell Lectures

Rowell Lecture SeriesA slide show and lecture presented by Rick Ridgeway and Conrad Anker, two of America's most accomplished mountaineers, will kick off the new Galen and Barbara Rowell Annual Lecture Series.

The event will be held Wednesday, May 12, 2004 at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. A VIP reception is set for 6:30 p.m. with the presentation to begin at 7:30 p.m.

The event is presented by the Commonwealth Club of California and the Rowell Legacy Committee and sponsored by Yosemite National Institutes, American Himalayan Foundation and Yosemite Fund.

During the presentation, Ridgeway and Anker will detail their thrilling, but treacherous 275-mile trek with photographers / mounatineers Jimmy Chin and Galen Rowell across the uninhabited rangeland in northern Tibet. The four men pulled aluminum rickshaws weighted down with supplies across the area known as the Chang Tang Plateau, which features an average elevation of 16,000 ft. Sponsored by the Expeditions Council of the National Geographic Society, the aim of the trek was to locate the birthing grounds of the rare Tibetan antelope and hopefully convince the Chinese government to safeguard the area. The antelope, or chiru, are being driven to near extinction by poachers for their fur.

Tragically, this trek was to be Rowell's last. He and his wife Barbara were killed in a plane crash near their Bishop, Calif. home two months after his return from the expedition.

The program is the premiere event for the newly established Galen and Barbara Rowell Lecture Series and "One-of-a-Kind" award that will be conferred annually in their honor. Proceeds from the event will be used to endow the award. A prestigious panel of judges, to be publicly named at this event, will select the award. The first award will be conferred in 2005.

The Galen and Barbara Rowell Award will go to an adventurer whose passion for the visual arts and / or literary expression brings honor and illumination to the wild places and mountainous regions of the world, and whose life and accomplishments are having a significant beneficial impact on both the environment and the peoples who inhabit these lands and regions.

Tickets for the VIP reception cost $125 and include the reception, preferred seating at the program and an autographed copy of Ridgeway's new book, The Big Open: One Foot Across Tibet's Chang Tang. Tickets for the program cost $35 person. A$10 discount is available for members and affiliates of the sponsoring organizations.

Reservations may be made online at www.commonwealthclub.org or by phone, (415) 597-6705. MasterCard or Visa accepted. If paying by check, a telephone reservation must be made first. Additional payment information for those paying with a check may be obtained when the reservation is placed.

Those who cannot attend but would like to make a tax-deductible contribution should send checks to:

Rowell Legacy Fund
c/o Yosemite National Institutes
GGNRA, Building 1055
Sausalito, CA 94965
ATTN: Janet Lewis


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