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Banff Mountain Film Festival

The Lowdown

The Fresh Coast Project at the Banff Mountain Film Festival

November 18, 2011
Copyright Ed Wargin
Copyright Ed Wargin

The Granite Island Lighthouse on Lake Superior, Copyright Ed Wargin

Film as a photographic medium may soon be gone. Photographer Ed Wargin has embarked on an endeavor to capture the Great Lakes on film before it disappears forever. According to industry reports we could see the demise of film in the next few years.

Come to the Marshall School on November 20th and 21st for the Banff Mountain Film Festival to see and sign up to win Ed Wargin’s photograph “Granite Island Lighthouse.” This wonderful piece was captured as part of the Fresh Coast Project. The lighthouse sits on an island in Lake Superior approximately six miles north of the city of Marquette, Michigan.

The Great Lakes were given to us as a gift and it is our duty to be responsible stewards of these waters. Mr. Wargin is assembling a body of artistic work that will serve as tangible evidence of their importance in our lives. Here’s hoping we all gain knowledge and awareness of the Great Lakes through this project.

I hope you will join me in this attempt to capture our Great Lakes on both the American and Canadian shores in The Fresh Coast Project.”Ed Wargin

Now that the Banff Mountain Film Festival has come and gone you may sign up to win the photograph attached above by leaving your name and email in a comment below, or by emailing me at: [email protected] Drawing will be held on December 16th, 2011.

Best of luck!



The Lowdown

The Banff Mountain Film Festival in Duluth

November 17, 2011
Copyright Ryan Creary, 2011

Outdoor adventurers, adrenaline junkies, and couch potatoes can all appreciate films, which show the participants pushing themselves to the edge. The Banff Mountain Film Festival accepts 300 adventure films each summer, screens the 50 best at the festival, and then takes the show on the road. Watching this film festival gives you the chance to live vicariously through a group of filmmakers who have caught the best with their cameras.

In the film “Kadoma” American professional Kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic take you down the Lukuga River in Africa. Just seven weeks after shooting their whitewater adventure, tragedy struck.

“The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom,” gives new perspective on the complicated forces tugging at the Dalai Lama and his people. For one year the Dalai Lama granted the filmmakers intimate access to share a story of peaceful solutions set against an impatient younger generation.

The grand prize winning film is entitled “Cold,” and it is the story of a deep, dark winter on Gasherbrum II. Alpinist and photographer Cory Richards’ film is one of pain, doubt, and fear revealing a harrowing descent of the mountain.

In addition to climbing and kayaking there are films on skiing, boarding, and observing nature. Some are serious, some contain humor, but all are entertaining. The film festival will be shown at Marshall School on Sunday November 20th and Monday, November 21st beginning at 7:00 pm both evenings. Come early at 5:30 pm to enjoy food and drink provided by Fitgers Brewhouse and the Burrito Union.

The Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club, with Duluth Pack sponsoring, hosts the Banff Mountain Film Festival as it visits Duluth.

Get your tickets at the Duluth Pack store in Canal Park • 218-722-1707, and we will see you there!

The Lowdown, Trip Planning

Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis

November 14, 2011

Midwest Mountaineering will be hosting their 53rd bi-annual Outdoor Adventure Expo this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 18th through the 20th . Come to the west bank and wander the giant expo tent. Here you will get the chance to meet and speak with more than 60 exhibitors, including two learned experts from Duluth Pack, all dedicated to helping create the next great outdoor adventure.

In an effort to help adventurers learn more about the opportunities this great big world has to offer, there will be presentations from experts throughout the weekend. Dozens of presentations are scheduled with subjects as close to home as Minnesota State Parks, and as far flung as the summit of Everest. Head on over to Hanson Hall on Sunday afternoon and listen to yours truly ramble on and on about adventure blogging.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival held in Alberta, Canada accepts over 300 outdoor adventure films from around the world. During the festival the top 50 were chosen and screened from October 29, to November 6th, 2011. The films range in theme and style and  include climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking and more. When the festival is over they take it on the road to hold mini film festivals in North American cities. This year’s tour includes the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo. Check out screenings on Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Or check out both nights because a different line up of films will be seen each night.

There’s a lot going on during the Outdoor Adventure Expo November 18th to the 20th. Exhibitors, presentations, a film festival, and special events are all worth a trip to the west bank. As always the admission is free. Oops, the film festival will be $15.00, but the entertainment value is worth twice that. And don’t forget to visit us in the Duluth Pack booth or take advantage of your chance to pepper me with questions and/or rotten tomatoes on Sunday afternoon in Hanson Hall.