Endurance and perseverance were two of the words that came to mind while watching the Banff Mountain Film Festival at Chico State earlier this month.

While the local event is two nights, I only went to the one April 5.

The actual festival in Canada was last fall.

This year 37 films are being shown elsewhere in the world. What is shown at each location is not the same.

One of my favorites was Soundscape. In 14 minutes I was awed by Erik Weihenmayer’s ability to climb mountains based on sound. He is legally blind. How the filmmaker and animators were able to convey what Weihenmayer hears was fascinating.

Canada Vertical was interesting, but left me wanting more. Not necessarily more than the 34 minutes that the film lasts, but more depth. This was the story of “a of highly motivated Quebeckers set out on one of the longest wilderness expeditions ever documented.”

It involved skiing, canoeing and cycling more than 3,700 miles—all in Canada.

The film captured some of the drama, angst and discipline to accomplish such a feat, but maybe it would take a full-length film to truly portray all the obstacles that had to be overcome for it to be a successful expedition. For the story that was told, I would have edited it further.

Earthside (33 minutes) resonated with me probably because it was a group of four women making first descents on Baffin Island above the Arctic circle. Not something I have ever thought about doing, nor will I ever do. It was the comradery of the women that I related to.

As the description of the film says, “… the trip’s success was contingent not on what they skied but the time they had together.”

So much of life is about the journey and not the destination, as well as who is on the journey with you.

Many of these films are inspirational even if one never aspires to replicate their feats.

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