The Banff Mountain Book and Film Festival is one of my favourite local events. Located at The Banff Centre every November, the campus is transformed for the week with prayer flags hanging outside the buildings and world class adventurers and explorers catching up with old friends and swapping stories. I attended a talk by Chris Sharma who is probably the best sports climbers in the US, if not the world. And later saw Mike Fay who has just finished walking through the Redwoods in California.
I also bought a ticket to see Dean Karnazes who had been invited to the event to talk about his running accomplishments but I was disappointed; he's got a very polished act which I thought was cheesy and superficial. Nothing like I expected. I take my hat off to him for his athleticism but I wouldn't pay good money to see him speak again. However, the evening wasn't a total right-off as they were screening the premier of The Wildest Dream which is a beautiful documentary and well worth seeing. Below is the description of it.
In 1999, Conrad Anker discovered the frozen body of George Mallory on Mount Everest. For years afterward, he wondered about Mallory's quest for the summit. Mallory and his partner, Andrew Irvine, were last seen in 1924 only a few hundred meters from the summit. Had the pair tackled the Second Step successfully and made it to the top? How much was Mallory torn between his love for Everest and his love for his wife Ruth? What was it like to climb a mountain as cold and brutal as Everest in the relatively light, flimsy gear of the 1920s?
The Wildest Dream sets out to answer these questions with archival video footage of Mallory and Irvine on the mountain, love letters between Mallory and Ruth, and a bold attempt to reenact their bid for the summit by modern-day climbers Conrad Anker and Leo Houlding. The new National Geographic feature film got its premiere Canadian screening Saturday night at the Banff Mountain Film festival.