Banff Mountain Film Festival 2013  

Posted by Big Gav in

One of my yearly traditions is to go and see the Banff Mountain Film Festival. I found this year's set of movies a little repetitive (much as I like Alex Honnold climbing, Russ Sturges paddling and Danny MacAskill doing tricks on his mountain bike I've seen their stuff plenty of times before) - there were a few interesting films though.

The overall winner was a pair of Australian dudes wandering around Antarctica (less successfully than a random norwegian guy it must be said) - Crossing The Ice.

Aussie adventurers James Castrission and Justin Jones embark upon a perilous 2275km journey across Antarctica in a race to become the first people to man-haul their way from the icy continent's rim to the South Pole and back, completely unassisted. In the past, a handful of hopefuls have attempted the feat, but none have succeeded. Dragging their food and supplies across the unforgiving landscape, in temperatures as low as -40°C, the pair experiences the peaks and troughs of being alone and unsupported in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their journey heats up when they discover their record attempt is in jeopardy; there's a Norwegian on the ice. He's more experienced, he's tackling same route, and he has a head start.

This dog had me (and most of the audience) laughing out loud - Lily Shreds Trailside.

Every serious mountain-bike rider needs a mascot, and Lily the Jack Russell Terrier is on the road to becoming just that. As the star of this film, Lily leaves only dust behind her as she does what she loves best: chasing bikes. Hot on the tail of a rider carving out new lines in Utah, USA, Lily clears a double jump, attempts a wall ride and ultimately, proves that downhill mountain-bike trails were not only made for wheels; paws can do the trick as well.

And lastly, the landscape at the bottom of the Grand Canyon held a lot of novelty value for me - Last of the great unknown.

One of the last places in the American West left to be explored, the Grand Canyon is an immense landscape filled with sweeping vistas. Almost unfathomable in scale, its vast wilderness is home to a labyrinth of concealed tributaries that hide some of the region's most remarkable formations. Led by Richard Rudow, who has clocked up some 70 first descents in the Grand Canyon, a team of seasoned canyoners ventures deep inside these slots to locations where no humans have set foot before.

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