Finding Magic at the New River Gorge with Alma Baste and Kathy Karlo

When I hear the word “adventure” I think of daring everest ascents, Johnny Depp as a pirate, and my daydream future as a young adult fantasy author, not skipping class after a printer malfunction prevented me from printing copies of a short story and in a fit of frustration driving seven hours to the New River Gorge to film Kathy Karlo. Nevertheless, it was. It wasn’t heart-stopping, Hans Zimmer soundtrack worthy adventure. It was more of the sleep-deprived, milkshake-full, giggle soundtrack that usually seems to be the theme whenever I join Kathy on a climbing trip.

The last time I had filmed anything was in middle school. I made a music video for the first minute or so of Jason Mraz’s “Geek in the Pink” with my eighth grade crush. It wasn’t very good. When Kathy reached out to me to help create a short film to advertise Aret Basewear’s TOURA bra, I didn’t feel right for the job but the offer was one I couldn’t refuse. It felt like a door opening and I’d be damned, and forever internally screaming at myself, if I didn’t walk through it-- which usually means I’m going to do everything I can do it.

Kathy Karlo swimming and climbing in her Arêt Orchid Low Cut TOURA Basewear Top

I packed my camera, a perfectly good Nikon 3500 DSLR, an old tripod that kept slowly collapsing on one leg if not balanced perfectly, a bag full of random climbing gear including equipment to aid up a route but no static rope to make the aiding easy, an inflatable pink donut, and the newest TOURA bra in orchid, which happened to match Kathy’s perfectly. We had two days and while Kathy certainly had goals in mind of what she wanted me to film, I spent most of the weekend running around alternating between tripod shots, shooing away dogs, and taking my bra off in order to get various shots and angles of the bra up close.

Does this sound like work? Maybe, but it was probably the most fun I had all summer. It was challenging. It pushed and stretched me both creatively and mentally. It rewarded me in at least two milkshakes and some of my favorite climbing photos I’ve taken this year. It inspired me to try new forms of media and, with Kathy’s help, as well as the support from the ladies at Aret, encouraged me to further this little hobby of mine. To me, this is what adventure is. Those small moments where I get to make a choice that will most likely alter my view of myself. From getting a new tattoo to driving seven hours to make a short film, these are the moments that make my heart skip a beat (or several). The moments that make me feel like I’m growing and slowly reaching the person I want myself to be. And who knows, maybe one day Hans Zimmer will provide the soundtrack?

Kathy, Alma, and Shooter enjoying Summer by the Lake at the New River Gorge

• This article was written by lady crusher/ Arêt ambassador Alma Baste. •

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