The 17th annual Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) gets under way on February 7, celebrating nine days of fantastic adventure films and presentations. The festival seems to grow in size each year, with 23 different events including 20 guest speakers and 79 films from around the world. The festival highlights all mountain sports, from kayaking to mountain biking, paragliding to trail running – but it’s climbing and mountaineering that are the heart and soul of the festival. Some big international names are gracing the stage this year – highlights include top American sport climber, Sasha DiGiulian, making a rare stage appearance to talk about her accomplishments in the last year, including her repeat of Alex Huber’s bold 10-pitch, Bellavista 5.14b, on Cima Ovest in the Italian Dolomites. Catalan big-wall climber, Silvia Vidal will be talking about her solo first ascent of Espiadimonis, 1,500 m, in Chilean Patagonia, where she spent 32 days alone on the wall, many in a soaking wet portaledge.
A name many in Canada may not know is Ola Dzik. The Polish high-altitude mountaineer brings a multi-media presentation to VIMFF about the tragic events that unfolded on Nanga Parbat last year. Ola was a member of the International Nanga Parbat Expedition which was attacked in base camp by terrorists – killing 11 team members, news that shocked the mountaineering community around the globe. As always there is plenty of local climbing content with Squamish locals Sarah Hart and Vikki Weldon entertaining audiences with tales from their latest adventures, and Paul McSorley will bring extremely fresh material to the stage, talking about his latest trip to Northern Patagonia with Will Stanhope and Marc Andre-Leclerc.
Of course there are the very best rock climbing and mountaineering films from around the world, including the North American premiere of Hot Aches Distilled - a celebration of Scottish winter climbing with Andy Cave.