Walking the tight rope

Feb 242011
Authors: Anna Baldwin

Just north of mainland Canada is Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic and home to polar bears and the coveted big wall climbing location, Mt. Asgard.

In 2009, climbers Leo Houlding and Stanley Leary planned a first free-ascent climb up the infamous North Wall of the mountain with a wingsuit jump from the summit after a successful end.

A film documents their journey, which shows unforeseen problems, the pair’s bare hands on the rock in the constant freezing weather and a long scramble up a face that’s regarded as one of the most difficult big walls in the world.

See this documentary and more outdoor films tonight and
Saturday night during a two-day stop of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Lory Student Center Theatre, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Each night will feature six to eight different films. This is the 16th year the tour has stopped at CSU.

All are high-quality mountain sport and mountain culture films, said Assistant Director for Campus Recreation Robert Ley.

“It’s not the typical Warren Miller film where it’s all cliff jumps and adrenaline. These are deeper stories of lives, culture, environment and adventure,” Ley said, adding that there are still several adrenaline-based films in the lineup
to keep it balanced.

Travel, skiing, climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking, caving, paddling, longboarding, as well as the lifestyle, adventures and issues of each sport are all subjects the films might focus on.

“Road Warrior” Paul Price is one onsite tour coordinator who brings the tour to cities across North America via van.

“We attract audience members from grandchildren to grandparents because we have a bit of everything,” Price said.

“The films have a connection to all of the mountain culture.”
The 28 films traveling onthe world tour were chosen from the whole lineup shown in Canada last November at the annual festival, which is regarded as one of the premiere outdoor film events.

The selection shown at each stop of the seven-continent world tour is exclusive to that one location. Each film is four to 60 minutes in length.

“Our festival should make people think and squirm,” Price
said, adding that he likes to see audience member reactions when there is something like no-rope climbing on the screen.

One past film on the tour was about the story of a man who crossed Australia on foot with just his dog, but the tour this year will include a film on the fastest technical climber and a philosophical film on paddling, among others.

“There’s nothing like seeing these on the big screen,” Price said.

The Outdoor Program in Campus Recreation is sponsoring the event.

UCA Beat Reporter Anna Baldwin can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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