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12/4/2013 3:13:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 

Photo submitted by Gus Bekker
The Backcountry Film Festival returns to Cashmere, bringing a slate of short films and one feature-length movie about all things outdoors.
Backcountry Film Festival returns

By Record staff

Some of the best outdoor films of the year will light up the Cashmere winter scene.

The Backcountry Film Festival returns for the seventh year, with a long string of movies available at the Riverside Center.

"We serve up the best raffle in town, the best coffee and the best winter films of the year," wrote Gus Bekker, from the El Sendero Backcountry Ski and Snowshoe Club, which the proceeds from the festival will benefit.

The festival, Bekker said, highlights the beauty, diversity and the fun of the winter backcountry experience, whether you like to ski, snowboard, snowshoe or just thaw and sit by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa.

"There is something for everyone," he wrote. "These films are as diverse as the backcountry experience and will put a smile on the face of even the most winter-averse viewer."

The money raised at the festival will help El Sendero's efforts to protect winter recreation areas for non-motorized users. Funds raised, Bekker said, stay in local communities to support human-powered winter recreation efforts.

This year's festival includes nine short selections and a 60-minute feature-length film, "Elevation," by Powderwhore Productions. Many of the scenes were shot around places like Mount Rainier and Lake Chelan, as well as the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon.

"The films will appeal to everyone from the old, granola-eating, backcountry skier to those just experiencing the backcountry for the first time," Bekker said.

Other films include Powderwhore Productions' "Trail Break," which tells a black-and-white portrait of deep powder skiing, Orange and Purple's "Morning Rituals," a day in the life of an undercover ski bum,

Corey Rich's "Youth," a movie that declares backcountry skiing to be a family affair, Forrest McCarthy's "Nokhoi Zeekh," which shows a month-long American expedition through northern Mongolia.

In addition, the festival will show Switchback Entertainment's "Poor Man's Hell," described by the festival's website as "a new and unique way to the top of the mountain.", Duct Tape Then Beer's "Strong," the story of Roger Strong, an avalanche survivor, and Jason Thompson's "Take The Ride,"

Lastly, the festival will include Red Reel's "Bolton Valley," and Luc Mehl's "Bigger Braver."

Bolton Valley, a movie about how a small community fought to save its beloved ski area, won the festival's prize for best conversation film.

Bigger Braver, described by the festival's website as the story of a young female athlete who shares her insight into the courage and strength involved in seeking big mountain adventure, won the award for best short.

The Cashmere chapter of the festival will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Riverside Center, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and films starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 at the door for anyone 12 and older.

The festival premiered in Boise, and the movies will be shown in more than 100 screens worldwide.

The Backcountry Film Festival is sponsored locally by The Sierra Club, Wenatchee Outdoors, Alpine Lakes Protection Society, Arlberg Sports, and Exped.

More than 20,000 will see the movies worldwide, a press release from the festival stated. The website includes shows in Colorado, California, Alaska, Wyoming Nevada, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, New York and Vermont, in addition to Washington. After Cashmere, the festival will travel to Seattle and Spokane in January and Walla Walla and Bellingham at a later date.

The movie chosen as the festival's best was "Valhalla," a tale of one man's search to rediscover the freedom of his youth. "Valhalla" is not scheduled to be shown in Cashmere.

To learn more about the films, go to

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or

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