If the thought of La Nina returning for a second year in a row to grace us with another epic winter season isn't enough, the folks at El Sendero ("The Path" in Spanish) have a sure-fire way to get you excited about winter. The El Sendero Backcountry Film Festival makes its local appearance at 6pm on December 15th at the Cashmere Riverside Center.
Viva La Nina - Viva La Backcountry Film Festival!
By Gus Bekker
Whether you are into the backcountry or sidecountry, a two-planker or a knuckle dragger, a pin-head or an AT skier, or simply enjoy hot coffee, pastries and good films, you will not want to miss this celebration of the winter experience. If you haven't attended before you are in for a treat - the door prizes are awesome, the coffee is hot, puffy jackets run amok, smiles abound and the films are as diverse as the Washington landscape.
Each year in December, El Sendero backcountry ski and snowshoe club in association with the Winter Wildlands Alliance hosts this annual film festival. The festival showcases inspirational and thought-provoking films and shorts that embody their mission to promote and protect quiet winter wildlands and access for human-powered snow sports on public lands. Submissions come from renowned filmmakers who travel the world to film the winter backcountry and from grassroots filmmakers who film their weekend excursions and submit their best short film. The films chosen by a juried panel of judges communicate issues that impact quiet winter recreation and the environment or tell an interesting story about fun on the snowy winter landscape. The festival travels to more than 75 communities within the United States, and then overseas to Antarctica, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
El Sendero represents winter recreationists in Washington State by advocating for the creation, preservation, and management of non-motorized winter recreation areas on public lands. Funds raised stay in our local community to help raise awareness of winter management issues, promote backcountry safety and ethics, and create a community of backcountry recreationists. El Sendero members are backcountry skiers, snowshoers, snowboarders, winter campers, and dog lovers.
This year's program includes nine different films including festival award winner "Solitaire" from Sweetgrass productions; two years in the making, this film was shot in South America and is worth the wait - better brush up on your Spanish amigo! The best short award goes to "Chalk and Ski" produced by Purple Orange and is the festival's first animated film; remember way back in elementary school when they still had chalkboards? The Best of the Backcountry award goes to "Breaking Trail" from Powderwhore productions. Known for their amazing ability to capture deep powder and fresh lines, the brothers Howell remind us why we venture into the backcountry. As usual the Backcountry Film Festival includes a few surprises in its chosen films and this year is no exception, without giving up too much information stew on these key phrases until December 15th:
- Ski Africa?
- Sailboat as basecamp!
- Never too old to ski off-piste.
- Mtn. bikes, kayaks, and winter! What the heck?
- 37 years and counting, what started in 1974?
See you at the Cashmere Riverside Center on December 15th. Tickets are $10 at the door for those 12 and over and include a chance for a door prize. Doors open at 6:00pm and the films start at 6:30pm and end around 9:30pm. Free coffee and dessert items available. The Backcountry Film Festival is sponsored locally by WenatcheeOutdoors, The Sierra Club, and El Sendero Backcountry Ski and Snowshoe Club. For more information contact Gus Bekker at:
email@example.com or 509-667-8681.