by Rick Dehlinger, Citrix
Many of my friends in this community already know that some of my projects from the past were named after rivers I used to terrorize on my wakeboard. Both Project Columbia (a feature rich add-on for the original nFuse web interface) and Project Willamette (additional 2-factor authentication options for nFuse) fell into this camp, named after rivers around Portland, OR where I originally settled with my wife, started a family, and really lit the candle on my career in this industry.
Since the publishing of my original article unveiling Project Silverton, many people have asked: “Why Silverton?” If you were paying close attention, my original article answered “what is it named after?” – Silverton Mountain, a seriously hard-core ‘resort’ in the mountains of southern Colorado. The ‘why’ question can be answered with one simple word: Inspiration.
I’ve been lucky enough to have made a couple trips to this place over the years, and it is border-line insane. As I first learned in 2009 (accompanied by virtual Brian Madden no less), everything about this place drives me to push limits – the limits of my physical endurance, riding skill, and nerve for example.
A trip to Silverton Mountain also requires commitment. To make the most of (and survive!) a trip here takes lots of it – commitment to training (the base is at 10,000 feet/3000 meters above sea level – altitude sickness is for real, and it’s not fun!) and commitment to your line (I took a helicopter drop to an EPIC line down a narrow couloir) for example. If you’re not prepared and committed, being owned by this mountain is almost guaranteed.
Reflecting on it now, I’m also present to many other elements of a trip to Silverton Mountain that move me: the risks and rewards involved, the awe of Mother Nature’s creations, the rich history of the area… the need to be alert, focused, determined, and respectful of the mountain… I find each of these elements, in one way or another, inspirational.
Now that you see what kind of headspace Silverton Mountain puts me in, perhaps you have a better understanding of why I named the project after it. I’ve got some pretty grand ambitions here, and there are many things working against me and anyone who chooses to join me on this quest. Perhaps I’m as insane as this scrappy little hardcore resort for doing this – there’s certainly a LOT of work involved, and I’m just getting started! I’m no stranger to pushing limits, even against unreasonably stacked odds… but at the end of the day, I’m totally committed to making a real difference for our community.
In this light, Silverton seems like a perfectly fitting name.