Inspiration for the summer: Banff Mountain Film Festival

Inspiration for the summer: Banff Mountain Film Festival

With the winter holidays now a distant memory and the days finally getting longer, it seems the perfect time to start pulling together ideas for a crazy 2017 summer adventure. As such, I somewhat ironically spent last night in one of the greatest indoors the city of Leeds has to offer, that of the beautifully ornate Town Hall, to get some serious inspiration from the Banff Mountain Film festival on the many adventures out there to be had. All the way from Banff in Canada, the festival is currently traveling the UK and Ireland with a fantastic film programme showcasing the best stories from all aspects of adventure sport: from rock climbing, to paragliding, and even in the case of one hilariously bizarre short, the thrill of playing music dangling on bungee chords set over giant ravines.

‘The festival is currently traveling the UK and Ireland with a fantastic film programme showcasing the best stories from all aspects of adventure sport: from rock climbing to paragliding’

A particular highlight for me was a feature following Ashima Shiraishi and Kai Lightner, two USA climbers setting incredible records in the world of rock climbing at only 15 and 16 years of age. The athleticism and ‘artistry’ they put into their often hair-raising sport is breathtakingly captured.

The stand-out piece of the evening was a story a little closer to Leeds: a screening of a half-hour documentary piece about the four Yorkshire mums who last year rowed their way across the Atlantic Ocean. There to introduce the story in their own words, the piece truly captured the immense, often unforgiving challenge they set for themselves, and the rugged determination that helped them succeed.

‘The stand-out piece of the evening was a story a little closer to Leeds: a screening of a half-hour documentary piece about the four Yorkshire mums who last year rowed their way across the Atlantic Ocean’

Although the festival moves on from Leeds after two screenings this week, don’t feel you’ve missed out. The tour is returning to Harrogate and York in late February to early March, and can be thoroughly recommended as a thrilling, and inspiring evening of adventure.

Kyle Withington

(Image courtesy of Kyle Withington)

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