Sunday, November 4, 2007

Elephants, Yaks, Base Jumpers... Oh My!

I am blogging today from Banff, Canada where Becky and I are attending the 32nd Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival. We have spent the last few days listening to authors and watching films - all centered on Mountain Culture and activities. If you're a climber, hiker, kayaker or general outdoor enthusiast, this event should be on your life list. It is thought provoking and inspiring.

We saw John Harlin III do a live presentation on his book "The Eiger Obsession" in which he describes going back to climb the Eiger 40 years after his father died on the mountain. His emotional recounting of the events were worth the trip by itself. We then heard from several other authors over the next couple of days about their books. Lunches are a "Literary Lunch" with a reading from an outdoor author.

Yesterday the Film portion of the event began. My favorite film was a documentary on Base jumping called "20 Seconds of Joy". Also we enjoyed a documentary showing the plight of the Pygmy Elephants in Borneo as well as a documentary about Joe Simpson of "Touching the Void" fame talking about the thread of climbing in his life and how he feels about climbing several years removed from the accident. Another great film showed the annual migration of Yak herders in Nepal - showing how even though their culture is virtually untouched, the problems of cheap import of salt threatens their unique way of life. It is reminiscent of the Chinese Crawfish import problems of our area.

I hope this blog entry starts to whet your appetite for Mountain Culture style films at our Venue at Pack & Paddle. Our first "Movie Night at P&P is coming up less than 2 weeks from now on November 13th!!! Mark it on your calendar. This will be a great film and a wonderful happening for the Lafayette Outdoor community.

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