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Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine 2016/17 WORLD TOUR

Where Are They Now? Harnessing Dog Power Banff Mountain Photo Essay Winner Win a Trip For Two Around Canada

A program of

Presenting partners

As presenting sponsors of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, National Geographic and The North Face congratulate the festival team on 41 years of extraordinary films celebrating mountain culture and the spirit of adventure. For more information on grants that support young explorers and encourage the next generation to discover the outdoors, visit for National Geographic Young Explorers Grants and for The North Face Explore Fund grants.

The last honey hunter of Nepal’s Kulunge people, Mauli Dhan, scales a handmade ladder to gather hallucinogenic honey from remote cliffside hives. Photo by Renan Ozturk on an NGS funded expedition and for an upcoming story in National Geographic magazine.

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“There’s a much deeper level where success comes from, and that’s the trust-building, the connection that the mushers have with their dogs.” DOG POWER PG. 32

Features 32 Departments 10 Welcome 41 Contest 39 Film Award Sponsors


41 Book Award Sponsors

The Making of a Rock Star How the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival transformed Eclipse photographer Reuben Krabbe from a nerd into a Rock Star. pg. 19

42 Last Words

The Audacity of Will How climbers Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat overstepped their own boundaries in Patagonia. pg. 20

Cover photo Ines Papert on Senja Island, Norway ©Thomas Senf

Exposed Prasenjeet Yadav’s wining photo essay about the biodiversity of the Sky Islands in south India. pg. 26

Top Dog mushers at the IFSS 2015 Dryland World Championships in Canada ©Kale Casey


Where Are They Now? See what trials cyclist Danny MacAskill (The Ridge) and photographer Krystle Wright (The Mysteries) have been up to, meet Ben Moon’s (Denali) new puppy, and get an insight into the wild life of climbing trailblazer, Gwen Moffat (Operation Moffat). pg. 12

Top left Danny MacAskill on the Isle of Skye ©Red Bull Content Pool Bottom left Mayan Smith-Gobat’s latest adventure ©Thomas Senf

Canine Capability Dog Power explores the growing phenomenon of dog-powered sports. pg. 32 Singletrack to Success The transformation of Canada’s Montana Mountain, one mountain bike trail at a time. pg. 36

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



Greetings from Banff, Canada!


EADING THIS from the comfort of your theatre chair, you may or may not know that the films you are seeing tonight are also being shown in about 40 other countries around the world. It’s a pretty cool concept to think that all of these inspiring, adventurous, and thought-provoking films on the World Tour are being watched by like-minded audiences in cities, mountain towns, and villages all around the world. We are stoked to say we have been providing outdoorsy folk with mountain culture since 1976, when the first Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour started. What began as humble festival in the mountain town of Banff has morphed into a massive operation spanning 40 countries and reaching more than 500,000 people each year. Every November, after the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival happens at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada, we take the best films on tour — well to be precise, 35 films that are then shown in 1,000 screenings around the globe. That’s a lot of stuff to lug around! Spreading mountain love to audiences all over the globe, the World Tour team includes office staff in Banff, travelling “Road Warriors” who present the screenings in Canada and the USA, and local hosts who organize the screenings from Beijing to Beirut. Every year after experiencing the Festival here in Banff, we are left with a strange feeling. It’s a feeling of wanting to get out there and explore the world — anything from an epic adventure in the Rockies or Himalaya to taking a micro-adventure with our family to a nearby lake. We love mountain culture and the Festival gives us a feeling of wanting to get out into nature and feel the adrenaline we all love to feel being out there on our own, wild adventures. What’s next on your list?

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM AND BOOK FESTIVAL Magazine Editor Louise Healy Magazine Contributors Matt Barron, Louise Healy, Nicky Lynch, Devon Murphy, Jenny Spurr Festival Director Deb Smythe Programming Director Joanna Croston World Tour Manager Jim Baker Senior Producer Woody MacPhail Strategic Partnerships Manager Laurie Harvey World Tour Coordinator Seana Strain World Tour Program Coordinators Jean Bilodeau, Mark Louie, Anne-Marie Puccini, Suzanne White World Tour Onsite Coordinators Kristi Beetch, Jamie Carpenter, Michelle de Camp, Holly Elliott, Amelie Goulet-Boucher, Heather Hendrie, Deb Hornsby, Paul Price, Ray Schmidt, Charla Sharp Tomlinson Film Coordinator Christie Pashby Program Coordinator Lana Hettinga Festival Coordinator, Guest Relations Patsy Murphy, Kaari van Nostrand Volunteer Coordinator Debra Hornsby Production Admin. Coordinator Brenda Williams Video Packaging Leanne Allison, Guy Clarkson, Tyler Jordan, Mark Tierney Video Master Control Branden Charlton Live Graphics Sandy Macdonald Stage Manager Lisa Russell Technical Assistants Holly Elliott, Paul Price, Clare Prosser MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Marketing Nicky Lynch Media Louise Healy Festival Design and Artwork Christiner Majer, Kelly Stauffer We wish to express our gratitude to Banff Centre without whose support we could not produce the Festival or Tour and to Banff Mountain Film Festival founder John Amatt, and to former director Bernadette McDonald, whose visionary leadership elevated the Festival to the world stage. BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM AND BOOK FESTIVAL Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Box 1020, Banff, AB, Canada t1l 1h5 1-800-298-1229 Email banff Website banff Box Offi ce 1-800-413-8368 PUBLISHED BY COTTAGE LIFE MEDIA 130 Merton St., Ste. 200, Toronto, ON m4s 1a4 416-599-2000 CEO Al Zikovitz Art Director Michael Zikovitz, Freewheel Design Production Manager Jodi Brooks Assistant Production Manager Denise Gray © 2016 Cottage Life Media No part of the publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the Cottage Life Media and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Yours in adventure, Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival team

A program of

Presenting partners

Supporting partners:


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

photo ©paul zizka

Sponsored by


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Where Are They Now?

We caught up with some stars of the 2015/2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour to see what they’ve been up to in the last year…


“I swear my index finger was sweating from nerves,” says photographer Krystle Wright (The Mysteries) of this photograph of kayaker Rush Sturges (Chasing Niagra) as he dropped off Spirit Falls in White Salmon, Washington. Wright took the photo using a drone with two flashes connected to it which meant that each time the kayaker would paddle over the edge, she would only have one shot. “When Rush came over the falls and rolled the kayak, I knew as soon as I pressed the shutter that I had nailed an awesome shot and something that was different [from] anything that I’ve tried in the past.”


photos, clockwise from top: rush sturges ©krystle wright; ben moon ©whitney hassett; danny macaskill ©rutger pauw/red bull content pool; cedar wright; alaska traverse ©jodi macdonald


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

credit: all caps

2015 National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” Gavin McClurg describes the first ever traverse through Alaska by a paraglider as “the pinnacle achievement of my life.” With Dave Turner, the pair crossed the full length of the Alaska Range, from west to east by foot and paraglider. “We encountered hungry Grizzlies and terrifying flying in one of the wildest, least hospitable places on earth,”says McClurg. The unsupported expedition took 37 days to complete.


“This is Nori, on the day I brought her home,” said filmmaker Ben Moon introducing his new best friend. Moon’s story Denali, about the bond between Denali the dog (who eventually died of cancer) and the adventure photographer, touched millions of viewers worldwide. “I didn’t want to rush finding a new pup and she was worth the wait. Canine companionship is pretty amazing.”


“I’m just gonna jump off a 2,000 foot tall mountain with a bunch of plastic bags over my head,” quipped climber Cedar Wright of his new hobby — paragliding. Aviation world watch out! This image is from his hilarious new film, Fledglings, which chronicles his new obsession.

credit: all caps


This shot of trials cyclist Danny MacAskill ( The Ridge) was taken on the Isle of Skye off Scotland (where he lives) last year as he experienced the biggest solar eclipse in 16 years, in his own special way.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



Photo Š

Alpine starts never felt so light.

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW? → BEN MASTERS Ben Masters and his crew, who travelled from Mexico to Canada on horseback, in the documentary Unbranded.

Midway Upon the Journey

Unbranded’s Ben Masters on the pursuit of Charged, his new film

all photos: © phillip baribeau


FTER HUFFING some 2,000 miles across America on horseback, the cowboys had grown tired, understandably, of canned food. The filmmakers were bored, too, with each other’s conversation. Day after day they struggled to thread mustang horses and equally unruly video cameras through the mesas and mountain passes of the west, all for a film to promote the adoption of wild horses. Their documentary Unbranded would gallop on, of course, to win the People’s Choice Award at the 2015 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, and scoop various audience awards at film festivals around

the globe. But back on the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana — only twothirds of the way through their 5,000 km journey — where Ben Masters and the other adventurers craved rest and fresh conversation, the documentary’s director knew of a house party. And it was at this event, not shown in the documentary, that Masters so fatefully met Eduardo Garcia — a man that would change the course of Masters’s life for the foreseeable future.


After a little coaxing at the party in Bozeman, Garcia agreed to join Masters and company for 50 miles of the Unbranded ride. When Eduardo Garcia’s

“I’m living the dream right now” story circled the proverbial campfire, Masters knew he’d found the subject of his next film. Charged tells the story of how Garcia, now a celebrity cook, →

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



“Bionic chef” Eduardo Garcia cooking al fresco in the mountains.

survived an electrocution at a young age and lost an arm as a result. While undergoing treatment for that near-death ailment, he was diagnosed with another: testicular cancer. Yet Eduardo Garcia persevered to become the ‘bionic chef’ and co-founder of Montana Mex, a Mexican food company. (Garcia also earned

life. “I’m living the dream right now,” he says. Besides Charged, he’s pursuing several passion projects: three short films, including one about pronghorn reintroduction, and even working with military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd). By learning horsemanship and outfitting, the ptsd sufferer

“Life is short and precious, so I’ll do the things I love and chase the dreams I have. Right now.” himself a gold star by cooking gourmet grub from locally sourced ingredients for the cowboys and film crew — a far cry from the tasteless meals they’d been slurping from cans). Masters himself is back in the saddle filming and is excited about new projects. He continues to live his own impassioned


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

finds healing, Masters hopes. “Hopefully when you see Charged, you think, ‘I don’t need a wake-up call like that. I don’t need to almost die — to lose an arm and survive cancer.’ Hopefully you think, ‘Life is short and precious, so I’ll do the things I love and chase the dreams I have. Right now.”

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The Rockstarification of Reuben Krabbe

eclipse image © reuben krabbe


From photo nerd to Rock Star status

HERE WAS A LOT OF SKEPTICISM, and the odds of pulling it all off were slim, at best. Canadian photographer Reuben Krabbe had a vision to create arguably the most unique ski photo of all time — to capture a skier in front of a total solar eclipse. To make it happen, he coaxed a couple of extreme skiers and the Switchback Entertainment film crew to travel to the Arctic Circle with him to shoot what most would consider a once in a lifetime vista, a solar eclipse. Yet despite the threats, and they were big — polar bears and frost-bite-like weather conditions — the team pulled it off. The result was an astounding photograph (see right) and film of the same


name, Eclipse, which went on to win Best Film: Snow Sports at the 2015 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Reuben Krabbe and the team of producers from Switchback Entertainment came to Banff to unveil the film for last year’s Festival and had a hoot of a time in the process. So much so that they would like to share with you their photo essay of Reuben’s activities during the week. Entitled, The Rockstarification of Reuben Krabbe, this photo essay by producer Mike Douglas captures mild-mannered photographer, Reuben Krabbe, who was the definition of a nerd when he showed up at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival . He left as a Rock Star.

Fortunately, the metamorphosis was captured on film by the crew from Switchback Entertainment:

❶ Hours before the

premiere of Eclipse in Banff, Reuben reflects on his mid-life crisis, checks online yoga pose photos to emulate for the crowd, and grooms his manly, manly hair.

❷ The whole “Eclipse photo” thing was just a vehicle for Reuben to show off his Downward-Dog on-stage in front of 900 people.

❸ The morning

after the premiere, Reuben suddenly felt the urge to wear his sunglasses at all times. Note the extra care and attention that went into the hair post-premiere.

❹ Recognized again! The Banff coffee shop baristas were all a flutter, giddy to meet their first real celebrity.

❺ Put your hands

in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. Our Spirit Animal rises.

❻ Even Alex ‘Honlove’ Honnold can’t resist the force. Now that fame is fully established, let’s just hope Reuben remembers the little people along the way.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



“The experience was eye opening and almost life-changing” — Mayan Smith-Gobat.

The Audacity of Will

How Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat overstepped their own boundaries in Patagonia BY JENNY SPURR


N TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK, Patagonia, three granite towers stand tall, beckoning only the most-adventurous trekkers and mountaineers. The North Tower is popular with climbers, the South Tower is tallest, but it’s the Central Tower that attracts the lion’s share. Its formidable East Face is challenging at best with wide cracks and roofs, sheer ice and snow, and unrelenting winds. Prior to this year, there had been only four recorded ascents via the “Riders on the Storm” route. And for good reason — it’s considered one of the most dangerous routes in Patagonia.


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

That didn’t stop New Zealander Mayan Smith-Gobat from attempting to free climb it with her trusted climbing partner, Ines Papert, and photographer, Thomas Senf (who, by the way, are the pair behind this year’s Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival signature image — check out Papert doing her thing on the front of the magazine cover). If the name Mayan Smith-Gobat rings a bell it’s because of her 2015 record-setting ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park with Libby Sauter, documented in last year’s popular World Tour film, Women’s Speed Ascent. So on February 6, 2016, the trio stood →

← Mayan SmithGobat in the “pain cave” on the Central Tower. → Mayan SmithGobat and Ines Papert in full swing.

all images ©thomas senf

↓ The North, South and Central Towers in Patagonia.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



“I definitely err towards pushing too hard most of the time” — Mayan Smith-Gobat. on the summit of Torre Central after 15 days on the wall, marking the 25th anniversary of the first climb in 1991 by Wolfgang Güllich, Kurt Albert, Bern Arnold, Peter Dittrich and Norbert Bätz. “The summit was stunning,” says SmithGobat. “After living on the East Face for weeks, finally having a 360 degree view was incredible, and sharing these moments with Ines and Thomas was very special.” They celebrated. They set up camp. Nothing could break their spirit. Even after a rock fall punched through their portaledges while sleeping, narrowly missing SmithGobat and Papert, they continued to climb. “At the time I was definitely less shaken than Ines was, who has the responsibility of a son at home,” admits Smith-Gobat. “Heading down there we knew that these dangers existed, but being confronted by them is a different story.” So, why risk it? It’s a common question in mountaineering. And as Smith-Gobat says, the answer is not so simple. “I do not want to take unnecessary risks, but I also feel that most alpine routes have risk and this is part of what draws me to them and makes the experience so powerful,” she says. “So, deciding whether or not to keep going needs to be a group decision. It is very hard to make these decisions when so close to achieving a goal, and I definitely err towards pushing too hard most of the time. But I


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

believe it is very important to really take everyone’s opinion in the team on board. These choices are extremely personal and this needs to be fully discussed as a team.” Despite their most valiant efforts, the trio didn’t manage to free climb the entire route, but they did walk away with one hell of a story. Papert has decided not to return to “Riders on the Storm” due to its unpredictable risk, but SmithGobat can’t seem to quell the urge to return, and is eager to give it another go. “The experience was eye opening and almost life-changing,” she admits. “The combination of hard free climbing in this brutal and stunning alpine environment awakened my drive [to climb] again. I totally loved it, overstepping my boundaries and exceeding what I thought I was capable of.” It seems to be all part of the risk and reward of climbing in Patagonia.

↑ Conquering the odds. Ines and Mayan sizing up the challenge ahead.

↑↑ Ines and Mayan settle in for the night.






Operation Wild Spirit

How Operation Moffat director Claire Carter continues to retrace legendary climber Gwen Moffat’s footsteps BY DEVON MURPHY


VEN AFTER HER FILM Operation Moffat has toured the globe, Claire Carter is still retracing Gwen Moffat’s footsteps. In the film, inspired by the life of Britain’s first female mountain guide and all-around adventure junkie, Gwen Moffat, Carter and fellow director Jen Randall follow some of the now-92-year-old’s U.K. climbing routes, and embody Gwen’s wild spirit by learning to live in the moment. Since receiving a Special Jury Mention


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

at the 2015 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, Operation Moffat has gone on to win 15 international awards and has travelled around the globe on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. But Carter didn’t quite feel she was finished with Gwen or her story. “Jen and I made something that resonated with people, we told a very 20 minute version of Gwen’s life and there’s a huge amount more to what happened to her,” says Carter.

In order to paint a fuller picture and get closer to the truth, Carter recently embarked on another Gwen-inspired adventure — following the mountain legend’s 1970s trip through the deserts of the United States. “It seemed to me like a really perfect opportunity to explore the other sides of Gwen’s life,” says Carter. So in true Moffat style, Claire decided to live out of her truck, camp under the stars, hike, swim, and bike as she drove through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, just as Gwen had done decades earlier. “I think when I made Operation Moffat I didn’t feel very much like Gwen,” admits Carter. “I didn’t think I had any of her qualities. And then, doing the trip and spending that time alone, while I found it very challenging, I also found it very rewarding. I think I realized that I do share some of those characteristics. “I remember feeling

photo: courtesy of gwen moffat


Gwen Moffat in her heyday doing what she did best.

FIVE AMAZING FACTS ABOUT GWEN MOFFAT Claire Carter, Gwen Moffat and co-director Jen Randall at the Kendal Mountain Festival.

1. She was Britain’s first female mountain guide Gwen worked many odd jobs in order to make ends meet for herself and her daughter. She was a chambermaid, schooner helmsman, and artist’s model before she decided to try and make money doing what she did best: climbing. She signed up to be a mountain guide, making her the first female mountain guide in Britain. In 2015 she was made an honourary member of the British Mountaineering Council. 2. She’s famous for barefoot climbing Never one to do things the usual way, Gwen climbed barefoot a lot of the time. At first, it was because she couldn’t afford the boots, but it soon became a part of her style. In the movie Operation Moffat she says she prefers the barefoot way because “Your feet are hot and sweaty so they cling like limpets. You sort of adhere.”

Gwen climbing in style in the U.K.

3. She’s a successful novelist Aside from her bestselling autobiography, Space Below My Feet, Gwen’s written almost 40 books, mostly mystery-thrillers.

Gwen Moffat in Operation Moffat .

like, ‘okay, well, this is it then. This is actually going to be really what it was like for Gwen’.” Carter is quick to admit that Gwen is still the more rugged of the pair, though. Carter kept in touch with Gwen as she retraced her desert footsteps, letting her know she was roughing it, sleeping in her truck in the middle of this unknown landscape. “She wasn’t impressed at all. She was just like. ‘Get out of the truck, why are you in the truck?’” After that, Claire slept outside. Claire Carter will continue to spread the gospel of Moffat by writing about their parallel desert journeys for Alpinist. She just hopes the stories of this mountain legend will continue to inspire others to follow their passions as well. “I think we’re all a bit like Gwen, we just don’t get the opportunity to realize it.”

4. She trained mountain rescuers in the RAF Gwen was enlisted to train airmen who joined the Mountain Rescue team of the Royal Air Force. Her book, Two Star Red chronicled the trials and tribulations of post-war alpine recovery efforts. 5. She went AWOL from the army Gwen’s love affair with the mountains began in 1946 when she was a driver in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British army. One day she met a conscientious objector who would introduce her to climbing. At 21, she became obsessed with the sport, and defected from the army in order to live in the mountains.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017


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“These mountains in the Palni hills in the southern Western Ghats are floating in the sea of clouds — isolated from each other, like islands in the oceans.”


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

credit: all caps

Science through a

a different lens

Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition


credit: all caps

Years of research and weeks of walking high above the clouds, coupled with a lifetime of curiosity about evolution, have ultimately led to Prasenjeet Yadav’s winning photo essay Sky Islands.→

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017




“The Shola forest grasslands are a unique habitat in the sky islands and home to many endemic species of birds, amphibians, and reptiles.”

Yadav, a molecular biologist turned photographer, has combined his experience in research with photography, choosing often-ignored subjects, landscapes, and species to make ecological and conservation stories accessible to larger audiences. In his essay, Sky Islands, Yadav creates a tapestry of content and color that share the story of the Shortwing, a bird unique to the sky islands in the Western Ghats of


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

India, a region with a biodiversity found no-where else in the world. The images were taken over a twoyear period during field visits to different mountain peaks, requiring special government access and climbing to get to hard-to-reach mountain tops peaks. “Mist, clouds, unexpected rains, and wildlife are some of the deciding factors — and when everything aligns, you get to pull out your camera and take the image.”

This story resulted from a National Geographic Young Explorer grant which Yadav received in 2014. His images have been used by scientists and conservationists and led directly to India’s first ever workshop on high elevation grassland conservation. The Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition has recognized creative excellence in photography on mountain subjects for over two decades, and in recent


“The White bellied shortwing belongs to the group of understorey birds which cannot fly for long distances and spend their entire life in very small forest patches. They came into this landscape almost seven million years ago and got restricted to these sky islands.”

years has showcased the best stories told through a series of still images. The 2016 jury consisted of three award-winning adventure photographers Mark Unrau, Jody Macdonald, and Piotr Drożdż. After much deliberation, four essays from the 121 entries were selected for public voting, of which Yadav’s essay received the $3,000 grand prize. Visit for more details.


“Until a year ago it was thought that this is a single species in the entire Western Ghats, but years of research shows that that they are three different species living on three different mountains tops. In this image, a field ecologist has caught a bird to collect its blood samples for genetic studies before releasing it back into wild.”

Continued →

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017




“Not only are these mountains isolated by a sea of clouds, but also by a sea of urbanisation today.”

The Banff Mountain Photo Essay Competition is presented by


Aurora borealis • Starry fireside nights • Snowshoe adventures • Fat biking • Single track mountain biking • Mountain hikes • Midnight sun


Canine Capability The greatest love of all

By Louise Healy

Have you ever heard of canicross, scooterjoring or skijoring? Enter Dog Power, the heart-melting story about cross country running with dogs (canicross), biking with dogs (scooterjoring) and skijoring (you guessed it, skiing with dogs… and, well, sometimes horses too). from first sight, to have that stomach feeling, instead of taking the one that’s supposed to be good. You can achieve a lot more with a dog that you really love.” As Casey explores the evolution of dog-powered sports in Europe, one story stands out: that of Taina Teräs, a Swedish adaptive musher. In 1996, while competing for Sweden in an eight-dog race, Teräs fell off her sled. The fall broke her back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. She had to give »

↑ Adaptive musher Taina Teräs and her four dog team in Sweden. ← Kale Casey with his dogs at the 2013 Chugiak race. ←← An Alaskan Husky at the 2015 IFSS Winter World Championships

opposite: ©jordan schevene; left: ©anchorage skijor club; top: ©Joakim Blomkvist

DOG POWER is a movie that chronicles the growing popularity of dog-powered sports on dirt and snow (called dog mushing) and, in the process, the intimate bond that is fostered between dogs and their owners. It is also about how one man, Kale Casey, decided it was time the world knew a bit more about the sport. “There is no sport like it because these dogs are like family,” says Casey, brimming with enthusiasm. “Others have described it as being ‘like living, breathing, moving art’.” What started as a quest to document Casey’s own foray into the sport transformed into a story about the powerful, magnetic connection between humans and their canine counterparts. “No matter what you do the dogs love you anyway, they are always so happy and we need that,” remarks 23-time gold medal Norwegian dog mushing champion, Lena Boysen-Hillestad. “That’s why it’s really important to pick a puppy you love

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017


“For a long time I didn’t know what the magic ingredient was, it’s actually all about having fun with your dogs,” he muses. “There is a much deeper level where success comes from, and that’s the trust-building the connection that the mushers have with their dogs.” Casey’s deeper passion is to inspire

“There is no sport like it…it’s ‘like living, breathing, moving art’.” saved my life, they are everything for me. I have built my life around them.” Teräs now competes in adaptive races. She talks with passion about getting out into the woods with her dogs. For her the freedom is so intense, it’s like she never had the life-altering accident. “It’s a chilling moment when you realize, I can still do that. It’s a wonderful feeling,” she says, welling up. Speaking from a diner in Alaska (Casey was on the road again, spreading the word about Dog Power), he admits that, just like Teräs, the secret to success is a simple one: having that strong, “heart connection” with your dog.

Dog mushers in the one dog, 15km race for the 2015 IFSS Winter World Championships in Germany.


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

and help train the next generation of dog lovers. He believes that the bond between people and dogs is one of the most powerful there is in this world. “Every musher I meet has meaningful relationships with their dogs,” he says. “By playing, training and competing together dogs and their human companions form an incredible bond.” “You have to go with that heart connection to your dog because if you don’t have love for that dog you will not be successful. It’s not a motorcycle you’re buying, it’s a companion. And that’s advice for life.”

↑ Competitors at the ifss 2015 Dryland World Championships in Quebec, Canada.

↑↑ A British dryland mushing competitor with her dog.

top to bottom: © kale casey; ©jordan schevene; © maximilian eckmann


up both her dogs and dog racing, which left her in a state of deep depression. A dog mushing friend gave her a puppy to cheer her up. It changed her life. “What would my life be otherwise? I don’t know…maybe I would be dead because I was so depressed after my accident,” says Teräs. “But my dogs

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Singletrack to Success One mountain bike trail at a time BY JENNY SPURR

In the early 1900s, thousands stampeded its steep cliff faces in search of silver, building an extensive network of trails, trams, and tracks to transport the treasure. But when the last mine closed in the 1980s, Carcross fell quiet and — like many Yukon First Nations — the people knew they had to take action in order to survive. In 2005, the Carcross-Tagish First


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

Nation signed a Land Claim Agreement with the Governments of Canada and the Yukon, giving them self-governance over 1,554 square kilometers of titled land and the capacity to develop their own economy. That same year, the CarcrossTagish Management Corporation created the Singletrack to Success Program, a trail-building program dedicated to

boosting adventure tourism in the area and connecting local youth to their culture. Since then, 40 local youths — most of them members of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation — have transformed the traditional trails on Montana Mountain into some of the best mountain biking trails in the world. Now, thousands are racing to the area once again — this time

all photos ©derek crowe

Montana Mountain stands tall over the village of Carcross (population 286), just south of Whitehorse, in the northern territory of Yukon, Canada. The mountain has long been a spiritual cornerstone, providing food, medicine, and shelter for the Carcross-Tagish First Nation people for centuries.

in search of a different treasure: nearly 100 kilometers of hand-built and restored singletrack. Initially, the idea of building mountain bike trails on Montana Mountain — which the First Nation had just reclaimed — was a tough one for some people to grasp, but as time passed, the focus became less about breaking trails and more about breaking cycles of poverty. Suddenly, these kids had confidence, strength, and determination. That’s what attracted Kelly Milner, a Yukon-based filmmaker and mountainbike enthusiast, to the program. She had been watching the Trail Crew head off to work on the mountain — axes in hand — every morning since buying a recreational property at the base of Montana Mountain. “I saw something really special happening,” says Milner, who participated

Jade McLeod and Shane Wally at work on Montana Mountain.

Crew do the talking. Turns out, it wasn’t always easy. “We were out there with the kids on days when they were doing some really hard work, and things would get emotional. Things would get hard,” she says. Following the film’s debut in Whitehorse last summer, Milner is proud of the

“The First Nation was doing something that was helping to build up their youth, to build a connection to the land, and to develop a new economy on their terms.” — Kelly Milner, filmmaker

Youths from the Singletrack to Success program enjoying the trails they’ve made.

in the Adventure Filmmakers’ Workshop at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2015. “Here the First Nation was doing something that was helping to build up their youth, helping to build a connection to the land, helping to develop a new economy on their terms… I felt like I needed to shine a light on this really positive and beautiful story.” So, she rounded up a film crew (of people entirely from the Yukon) and got to work. From the outset, Milner knew she wanted to let the members of the Trail

response. “I don’t think that people knew what the kids were up to on the mountain and this has helped to tell their story and make it understandable to people in the Carcross community, Whitehorse, the Yukon and the world in general.” Now that the secret about Carcross is out, Milner hopes more people will ride the trails and support the work of the Trail Crew. “It’s up to Carcross to decide how to respond to the number of visitors. That there’s an opportunity to make some decisions about how to make this move forward — that’s an exciting place to be!”

→ It costs $60,000 per year to run the Singletrack to Success Program. → Riding on Montana Mountain is free, but building and running a trail crew each year is not. If you enjoy riding the trails on Montana Mountain and think the program is worthy of your support, check out the Sport Yukon Foundation and donate today. → Get the lowdown on Carcross with SHIFT: The App (launched at the 2016 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival). Go behind-the-scenes to learn more about the Carcross area. Find out more about the best rides along with local history, culture, and special places that make Carcross unique.

It’s off to work for the Montana Mountain trail crew led by team leader, Shane Wally.

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



Banff Mountain Film Competition AWARDS Grand Prize $4,000 Sponsored by MEC Award for Creative Excellence $2,000 Sponsored by Mountain Life Media Best Film – Exploration and Adventure $2,000 Sponsored by Vasque Best Film – Mountain Culture $2,000 Sponsored by Helly Hansen Best Film – Mountain Environment and Natural History $2,000 Sponsored by lululemon Best Film – Climbing $2,000 Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada Best Film – Mountain Sports $2,000 Sponsored by Sea & Summit Best Film – Snow Sports $2,000 Sponsored by Bergans of Norway Best Short Mountain Film $2,000 Sponsored by The North Face Best Feature-Length Mountain Film $2,000 Sponsored by Town of Banff


Our partners:

People’s Choice Award $2,000 Sponsored by Osprey


Radical Reels People’s Choice Award Sponsored by Oboz Summit of Excellence Award Sponsored by Norseman Outdoor Specialist and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures Mountain Idol Award Sponsored by Banff Mount Norquay, The North Face, and the Alpine Club of Canada

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

Proud Supporter of






Banff Mountain Book Competition AWARDS

Inspiring Adventure...

Grand Prize Phyllis and Don Munday Award $4,000 Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada Mountain & Wilderness Literature (non-fiction) The Jon Whyte Award $2,000 Sponsored by The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Adventure Travel Award $2,000 Sponsored by Banff Gondola

Canmore, AB, Canada | 1-866-678-4164











Mountain Image Award $2,000 Sponsored by Lake O’Hara Lodge

Proudly sponsoring the SUMMIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

Mountain Guidebook Award $2,000 Sponsored by Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award $2,000 Sponsored by Fjallraven

Mountaineering History Award $2,000 Sponsored by Sherpa Adventure Gear

Mountaineering Article Award Sponsored by Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative, University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

Contest Enter to win the Grand Prize trip of a Great Canadian Trails self-guided bike or hike adventure for two.

Pick from 5 trips across the country on foot or by bike – East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between. Enjoy active holidays in Canada your way. Happy 150th Anniversary Canada! Enter to win at:

Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017



Last Words

Festival and World Tour tidbits and your feedback



500,000 people


films shown in…


screenings around the world


attend the festival in Banff each year

Heard around the world…

A roller coaster… → The short movies got my heart pumping, I was on the edge of my seat twisting and turning with all the action. Very awe-inspiring. You made me feel like… → I am not an outdoorsy person but after seeing all the films at the Banff movie festival, I was inspired to contribute something to society, and be more productive in my life and just LIVE.

@BanffMtnFest @Banff Centre #Banff worldtour


Banff Mountain Film Festival 2016/2017

Sweet dreams are made of this… → Banff films inspire me to work harder to be the outdoors woman I dream of becoming! Romance… → My husband and I are huge outdoor enthusiasts who are building our tiny home on wheels right now. The Banff Film Festival was one of our very first dates. The Banff Film World Tour hold a special place in our hearts and we look forward to it ever year. We go to see it in two different cities. Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado. Keep up all the inspiration! C’mon baby light my fire… → The 2015 Banff World Tour was the best one yet. Inspiring, tear-jerking, and simply amazing. If these films don’t ignite a love for the outdoors then nothing can. → Keep on staying true to the spirit adventure (in all its forms), outdoorsmanship, and sense of belonging that the festival has always given me. Centre

Social Media → @sal_brown: Only 1/2way through first session of @BanffMtnFest #banff worldtour films and already wondering if I can make another film… → @_livingston: Last night, our family loved the @BanffMtnFest #banff worldtour @TheBushnell This has been a 15 year tradition for @TrailrunningMom and me. → @TAGManagement: Waiting for the films to start. 10th year in a row! #banff worldtour… → @The_SarahBrown: Re-watching past trailers from the @BanffMtnFest because I can’t wait till it comes back to Denver!! Such an epic event. → @GFTrib_Chert: Review from the first half of the @BanffMtnFest in the first stop of the #Banff WorldTour in #GreatFalls #Montana: Out-of-the-park awesome.

credit: all caps

What have you done to me?! → The films in this year’s festival were phenomenal! I had a hard time on Monday morning not quitting my job and running into the woods. Thank you for putting this on every year and allowing it to tour to small provinces like Newfoundland, Canada. → I felt all of the emotions tonight, sometimes at once. I laughed, cried, raged, hoped, and dreamed.

1990 Trans Antarctic Expedition Photo: Will Steger

W E C A N H E L P.

As a global nonproďŹ t, the National Geographic Society invests in innovative and passionate explorers, scientists, and storytellers like you who have a vision for a better planet. Join us and learn more at

Photographer Joe Riis received a grant from the National Geographic Society to support his documentation of pronghorn migrations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As a result of his work, the state of Wyoming built its ďŹ rst migratory overpasses for wildlife.



Banff Mountain Film Festival Magazine 2016  
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