Backcountry film time

The Backcountry Film Festival brings the world’s winter wonderland to Fairbanks on Saturday.

The Fairbanks showing, organized by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF), will be held at Birch Hill Recreation Area, 101 Wilderness Drive. Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and the films start at 6:30 p.m. The event serves as a fundraiser for the NSCF and the Winter Wildlands Alliance.

The festival consists of a series of short films celebrating human-powered backcountry activities. The selected films run the gamut from fun to serious, shorter to longer. Most have a skiing theme, but there are some environmental and other themes as well.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For NSCF members, ticket prices are $10 for individuals and $25 for families (up to 6). For nonmembers, ticket prices are $15 for individuals and $35 for families. You can purchase online tickets at tinyurl.com/w555sjg or www.nscfairbanks.org.

The festival has all sorts of films this year including a film exploring how climate change is affecting the lives of the mushers and dogs who travel in Denali National Park and a film in which ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich climbs Mount Everest, and by documenting her journey, invites women to join her in overcoming the challenges of mountaineering. You can view a teaser of this year’s films at winterwildlands.org/backcountry-film-festival.

The BackCountry Film festival aims to entertain while helping to raise funds and awareness for Winter Wildlands and its like-minded partners. The festival, which was created in 2004, premieres in Boise, Idaho, and then travels to more than 100 locations worldwide. Funds raised by the festival showings stay in local communities to support human-powered recreation and conservation efforts and to raise awareness of winter management issues, avalanche training/safety and winter education programs.

For more information on the Fairbanks event, contact Lisa Druckenmiller at skirunplay@alaska.net.

Below is a full description of this season’s films. 

“Peak Obsession” by Bjarne Salen

Cody Townsend has embarked on an audacious goal to ski all of the lines chronicled in “The Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America.” This documentary follows Townsend as he climbs and skis two of the most challenging lines in the book. Joined by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones, the crew sets out for an adventure rife with challenge, exhaustion, steeps, and a little bit of schadenfreude.

“Drawn to High Places” by Nikki Frumkin and Outdoor Research

Artist Nikki Frumkin balances chaos, power, and beauty in her watercolor paintings of the Pacific Northwest’s most dramatic mountain ranges, breathing a new life and sense of wonder into landscapes cherished by all.

“Backflippers” by Luigi Dellarole

In the Alps, a group of kids learn how to ski off piste, read different types of terrain, and approach the mountain with confidence. This ski movie is about individuality in a mountain setting.

“Can’t Ski Vegas” by Joey Schusler, Ben Page, Thomas Woodson

Some people channel their angst for an upcoming wedding into the slot machines in Las Vegas. Others raft a remote river in search of ski lines. “Can’t Ski Vegas” follows a crew of skiers as they withdraw into the wild and ski lines in northern Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. Without distractions, cell service or emails, the friends invest in the purposeful time of being together.

“Endless Winter: Chapter One” by Nikolai Schirmer

Norwegian pro skier Nikolai Schirmer launches a winter-long project to ski with a lower carbon footprint. Joined by friends Krister Kopala and Eirik Verlo, Schirmer sets off into the darkness of Norwegian winter.

“Climate Change in the Kennels”

This is a documentary that explores how climate change is affecting the lives of the mushers and dogs who travel in Denali National Park.

“A Climb for Equality” by Rylo and Caroline Gleich

Ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich understands why only 11% of the people standing on the world’s tallest summits are women. In this world of technical ascents, women encounter barriers to belonging — not to mention how hard it is to find gear in a woman’s size. Last spring, Gleich climbed Mount Everest, and by documenting her journey, she invites women to join her in overcoming the challenges of mountaineering.

“Khutrao” by Agreste Chile

A group of splitboarders explore the snow-capped mountains of the Mapuche ancestral lands. Guided by a member of the Mapuche, the group learns about the ancient bonds tied to these mountains.

“Leave Nice Tracks” by Dan Cirenza, Marius Becker and Kyle Crichton

This documentary follows a few Vermonters who are working in the mountains to make the backcountry more sustainable, safe, and accessible for all who wish to enjoy it.

“Colter: A Legacy of Adventure” by Sawyer Thomas and Riis Wilbrecht

Filmmaker and skier Sawyer Thomas follows the path of John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, through Yellowstone and the Tetons.