Friday, December 21, 2007

Welcome to winter!

Well, here it is, the first official day of winter. Around here, we've been enjoying winter unofficially for several weeks. If you haven't gone out and played in the snow already, stop what you're doing, put on some warm clothes, strap on some skis or snowshoes and get out there! If you don't believe me, here are a few random photos, taken today, around Algonquin Outfitters' Oxtongue Lake store:

I think it's almost time to shovel snow off the canoes...

Maybe I'll take the one in the middle without all the snow on it!

Sorry, Tent Cabin #1 won't be available for a few months...

These trucks won't be going anywhere soon...

Best wishes for the holiday season from everyone at Algonquin Outfitters.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Banff Mountain Film Festival program for Huntsville

OK, drum roll please, here it is... the final program for Algonquin Outfitters' presentation of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, at the beautiful Algonquin Theatre, in Huntsville, Jan. 22 & 23, 2008.

Film titles only are shown below. For more info on each film, please refer to my post of Dec. 11.

Jan. 22, 2008
(More nature/travel themes)

  • Entropy
  • Searching for the Coast Wolves


  • The Western Lands - Hoy
  • Wings on Your Feet
  • Higher Ground: Mountain Photographer
  • Badgered
  • Great Day for Climbing

Jan. 23, 2008
(More action themes)

  • Balance
  • 20 Seconds of Joy


  • King Lines: Es Pontas
  • In-Flux
  • Climber
  • Cross-Country With the Snakes
  • Trial & Error
  • Ain't Got No Friends on a Powder Day

Get a taste of what's coming by watching the intro video:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Banff Mtn. Film Festival coming Jan. 22 & 23

Updated version: December 19, 2007
After discussing our film choices with the nice people in Banff, I have modified the list somewhat. The World Tour has already visited a number of venues in Canada and the US, so we now have the advantage of being able to get feedback from those audiences and the on-site coordinator who will be presenting in Huntsville.

Tickets are on sale now for the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Huntsville!

Tickets are available at the Algonquin Theatre box office at 37 Main St. E., on-line at or by calling the theatre box office at (705) 789-4975, or 1-888-696-4255, ext. 2352.

Both shows will feature a wide variety of films. While there certainly is more selection in the "action/adventure" categories this year, our goal is to put more human interest in the first night and more action in the second. Hopefully there will be something for everyone in between! Personally, I'm going to both nights...

Here is the list of films we are planning on showing (barring any last-minute cancellations), in alphabetical order:

20 Seconds of Joy
Best Film on Mountain Sport and People’s Choice Award
Germany, 2007, 60 minutes
Directed by Jens Hoffman
Focus: BASE jumping, Human Narrative
"I don't want to die, I want to live. I'm pretty good at running away, and this is my escape." This is how Karina Hollekim describes her dedication to BASE jumping. Documentary filmmaker Jens Hoffman first met the now 30-year-old Norwegian in 2002. He immediately started to film, planning to follow Karina over a long period, trying to understand why a young woman would challenge herself mentally and physically in such an extreme sport. Jens accompanies her through many stages of her BASE-jumping career, until it comes to a sudden stop and changes all aspects of her life.
Ain’t Got No Friends on a Powder Day
Switzerland, 2007, 5 minutes
Directed and Produced by Nicolas Falquet and Loris Falquet
Focus: Skiing

Loris is a "classic" freerider. Jean-Yves, however, has a more or less "accidental" style. This film draws a parallel between two styles and two approaches to the same mountain, which are otherwise worlds apart.
Best Film on Mountain Environment
UK, 2005, 7 minutes
Directed by Sharon Colman
Produced by Jamie Wolpert
Focus: Environment/Animation
The tale of a badger who just wants the world to let him sleep.

Canada, 2007, 11 minutes
Directed and Produced by Paul Cotton
Focus: Skiing
Balance profiles the rapidly growing world of new-school skiing, looking at all aspects of the sport: big mountain lines, terrain parks and half-pipes, and jibbing. This film captures the athletes' desires to push the edge of their abilities while facing the obvious safety risks associated with high caliber skiing. With high-energy footage cut to an upbeat soundtrack, the audience is challenged to judge whether these athletes are crazy or just extremely talented, or maybe both.

Canada, 2007, 2 minutes
Directed by Carlos Villarreal-Kwasek
Produced by Vancouver Film School
Focus: Climbing/Animation
A climber attempts an icy mountain climb and faces his inner demon in this animated short.

Cross-Country with the Snakes
USA, 2007, 7 minutes
Directed and Produced by Hansi Johnson
Focus: Cross-country skiing, Music
Cross-country with the Snakes is a short film about a nordic-skiing punk band. It documents a tour with the Black-eyed Snakes as they ski all day and play rock at night. Nordic skiing, long portrayed as serene and classical, is cast in a new light as exciting and dynamic through the lens of punk/blues rock and fast-action photography.

Norway, 2006, 11 minutes
Directed and Produced by Morten Gjerstad
Focus: Snowkiting
Entropy documents the most progressive season in snowkiting so far. Join a couple of the world's best riders as they search for the ultimate snow and wind conditions. Along the way, they reinvent snowkiting by taking a new-school approach and pushing the limit of ‘wake style’ maneuvers.

Great Day for Climbing
USA, 2007, 7 minutes
Directed and Produced by Stephen Burgess
Focus: Climbing, Humour
A sleepy climber has trouble distinguishing dream from reality as his climbing buddy bursts into song at the most inopportune moments. Who are those guys dancing in his driveway? How did his dog end up above him on the route? Where is that music coming from?
Higher Ground: Mountain Photographer
USA, 2007, 8 minutes
Directed by Chris Alstrin and Alexander Lavigne
Produced by Chris Alstrin
Focus: Climbing, Human Interest
Andrew Querner, a professional photographer from Canmore, Alberta, explains what drives his quest for the perfect climbing photograph. Difficulty and challenge are climbing's chief attractions, but the objective hazards climbing presents tap deep sources of fear as well. Andrew Querner's photography feeds on that, and explores the relationship between climbers and the mountain environment.

France, 2005, 17 minutes
Directed and Produced by David Arnaud
Focus: Kayaking
In-Flux is about the true meaning of paddling - the perpetual need to go and travel the globe with your kayak in search of the magic something you can find only on the river. Shot in Italy, Canada, Norway, and the Reunion islands, the film combines adrenaline-driven action and remarkable natural wonders.
King Lines: Es Pontas
USA, 2007, 13 minutes
Directed and Produced by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer
Focus: Climbing
A segment from King Lines, filmed on location in Mallorca, Spain. This spectacular segment captures Chris Sharma's challenging ascent of the Es Pontas arch. Deep water soloing at its best.

Searching for the Coast Wolves
Germany, 2006, 52 minutes
Directed by Richard Matthews
Produced by Heinz von Matthey
Focus: Environment
Gudrun Pflueger is an ex-world champion cross-country skier and long-distance runner. For the last six years, she has been studying wolves in the wilds of Canada, collecting field data, hair, droppings and other evidence for use in scientific projects on wolves. She goes in search of the mysterious coast wolves of British Columbia, a quest that culminates with a dramatic and powerful encounter.
The Western Lands - Hoy
Best Short Mountain Film
UK, 2007, 9 minutes
Directed and Produced by Grant Gee
Focus: Climbing, Human Interest
Writer Jim Perrin's attempted climb of the Old Man of Hoy on his 60th birthday. A poetic documentary of love, loss and landscape under the dying of the light.

Trial & Error
People’s Choice Award (Radical Reels night voting)
Canada, 2006, 8 minutes
Directed and Produced by Bjørn Enga
Focus: Mountain Biking
Mountain biker Ryan Leech sets out to ride an incredibly difficult trail in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. With the valley slated for clearcut logging, Trial & Error combines Ryan’s extraordinary riding with his thoughts about the very special location.
Wings on Your Feet
Switzerland, 2006, 25 minutes
Directed and Produced by Fulvio Mariani
Focus: Telemark Skiing, Human narrative
John Falkiner and Paolo Tassi - two charming characters, powder hunters and free heel telemark interpreters - tell us about their dreams and why they have chosen skiing as their true lifestyle. Whooshing through Fulvio Mariani’s camera shots, they guide us on journeys of discovery and friendship in magnificent landscapes around the world.