Here are the must-see films of the 2017 BANFF tour

The big attractions at the touring edition of the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival.
Three excited musicians hanging mid air from the film Metronomic
Flying Frenchies in Metronomic © Metronomic
By Sissi Pärsch

The 2017 Banff Mountain Film Tour starts on February 16 and will hit hundreds of cities around the world. Expect to see plenty of awesome footage of everything from four inexperienced sailors taking on the Atlantic Ocean to the group of aerial enthusiasts who decided to make music while flying through the air.

Scroll down to check out our pick of the must-see highlights on the tour.

Ace And The Desert Dog

© Forest Woodward

Meet Ace, an adventurous traveller who decided to celebrate his 60th birthday by spending 60 days hiking across the beautiful canyons of his home state of Utah. A few of his friends hook up with him along the way, but the only mainstay by his side during the trip was his dog, who goes by the name Ghengis Khan. But this is no ordinary pooch: Ghengis blogs about his travels with his human under the pseudonym Desert Dawg. He sums up his trip rather eloquently: “Eat. Walk. Poop.”

Doing It Scared

© Matthew Newton

What do you do when you nearly lose your life when trying to climb a universally feared and vertiginous peak? That was the dilemma Paul Pritchard was facing when he suffered extremely serious head injuries while attempting an assent of the 65m Totem Pole sea stack off the coast of Tasmania in 1998. The incident might have robbed him of feeling and movement in his right side, but he still managed to return 18 years later and conquer the peak with the help of his best friend. 

Dream Ride

A man stands at the top of a large mountain with his bike in the film Dream Ride.
Every trail and rider has a dream © Bruno Long

What is the ultimate mountain biking day? Obviously, a day where the trail never ends and the stoke never subsides. More so, the promise of new excitement exists around every bend. From California to Utah, follow riders on the ultimate adventure, through the ultimate dream ride. 

Fledglings

© Fledglings

Two experienced climbing professionals will once again become absolute beginners - more so, two adult men will once again become absolute children. Cedar Wright and Matt Segal discover paragliding flight for themselves and set off on quite the adventure. They are possessed, they are silly, and they are overambitious. Good thing that they find the right flight instructor taking care of them because the gentlemen want to fly from the Pico de Orizaba, the highest summit in Mexico.

Four Mums in a Boat

Four women celebrate in their row boat having crossed the ocean after 67 days in the film Four Mums in a Boat
Four mothers, no experience, 67 days, 3000 miles © Ben Duffy

Four mothers, average age 47, have zero experience with sea and sailing, but they do have an idea: Let's challenge the Talisker Atlantic Challenge: 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic. They are completely average English women, who are completely committed. But together they head offshore. They row, they fight against the wild sea, and they hardly sleep as they live in a confined space as they head across the Atlantic to Antigua.

Iran – A Skier’s Journey

Two men stand atop a mountain in Iran in the Skiers' Journey film.
The Alps? No: Iran! © Jordan Manley

If you think of snow, then you might think of the Alps, Alaska or the Rockies. But what about Iran? In 2016 it snowed and two skiers, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots headed to the Middle East to drive epic powder, experience the culture, and spend time with incredibly nice people. "In the mountains, there is freedom," Iranian ski instructor Mona said, "here it does not matter what people do." Trust us, after seeing this film you'll want to book your trip immediately.

Metronomic

© Flying Frenchies

Meet the Flying Frenchies, a group of aerial enthusiasts who decided to make some high-flying music. The collective of highliners and BASE jumpers make the idea of playing saxophones, guitars and the drums while hundred of metres in the air seem like a normal thing to do. But that's just what they do – they’re crazy, cool, and groovy.

Poumaka

© Keith Ladzinski

This film is about a very, very wet adventure in the French-Polynesian jungle. Angie Payne has been convinced by Mike Libecki – National Geographic adventurer and unbelievable optimist – to climb the Poumaka, a 450 metre volcanic spire. The trip becomes the biggest mud onslaught in the history of climbing movies! Rain from above, mud from all sides, and a rock that is overgrown with vegetation; with all the agony and "pure misery" with a lot of laughter and a breathtaking mountain.

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