Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour

Posted on Oct 14 by SEASONS Magazine

Still from The Time Travelers, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Still from The Time Travelers, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour on Wednesday, October 18 at 7 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall. This year marks the sixth year in a row that Mountainfilm has returned to UCSB. This film series is a fall favorite for Santa Barbara adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies. 

Telluride Mountainfilm was launched 30 years ago by a group of climbers and friends dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about matters pertaining to the exploration of cultures, environmental preservation and conversations about sustainability. The film series still remains true to these core values while offering a six-sense experience of art, adventure, culture and the environment through 14 engaging short films.

The show is narrated by a Mountainfilm presenter who guides the audience through the exciting program with stops to punctuate the film with personal anecdotes about the filmmaker and film subjects. The films included are Ascend, Denali’s Raven, John Shocklee: A Fairy Tale, Owl Dance Off Part II, Cowtown, The High Five, The Perfect Flight, Tatum Monod, Waking Dragons, Go Pro: Line Of the Winter, My Irnik, Where the Wild Things Play, The Time Travelers and La Longosta. The films include athletic feats, lush remote wilderness, overcoming seemingly impossible odds and the value of staying true to oneself.

Ascend details the feats of Jon Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that caused him to get his left leg fully amputated. Through these trials, Wilson rehabilitated and continued to partake in one of his passions—mountain biking. “If I don’t ride a bike, I will lose my mind. It’s because I need to find that spiritual place, that spiritual channel on the trail,” Wilson says. “The simple answer is that it brings me joy.”

Denali’s Raven takes a peek into the life of Leighan Falley and her daughter Skye. The mother and daughter duo fly above the peaks of the Alaska Range in Falley’s de Havilland Beaver. Falley has always felt an affinity for the sky and now makes her passion into her day job as a commercial pilot in Talkeetna. Denali’s Raven is where the life of an Alaskan pilot, skier, alpinist and mother all converge.

John Shocklee: A Fairy Tale is about a man who takes an unconventional path to life. Shocklee lived with his parents until he was 26, took a minimum wage job at the age of 39 and now at 52 still doesn’t work at what many people would deem a “real” job. But this seeming failure in the eyes of many worked out for Shocklee. He now works as a ski guide on America’s rowdiest mountain in Silverton, Colorado and rows dories down the river in the Grand Canyon. Shocklee shows how living well doesn’t always have to mean living rich.

Owl Dance Off: Part II is a film that lives up to its namesake. This film is the anticipated follow up to wildlife photographer Megan Lorenz‘s award-winning online sensation Owl Dance Off, where owls literally dance in sync to music.

Cowtown is a film about the oldest weekly profession rodeo in the United States in a small place called Cowtown. In this unexpectedly placed town in New Jersey, third generation proprietor Howard “Grant” Harris, a former bull rider and lifelong cowboy strives to keep his birthright intact. He runs horses and provides a weekly show. “What we do is what we are,” says Harris. “We don’t know how to do anything else.”

The High Five is a film that explores the boundaries and meanings of what it means to be homosexual in sports. On October 2, 1977 Dusty Baker hit his 30th home run of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As he rounded the base an excited rookie named Glenn Burke met him at home plate, raised his arm in the air and slapped Baker’s hand. This infamous high five became the first high five ever recorded in the history of sports. One year lear, Burke was forced out of baseball amid rumors of his sexual orientation. This film shows just how pervasive sexual orientation is in sports.

The Perfect Flight for a falcon is one that yields a kill and secures food. For falconer Shawn Hayes, the perfect flight is one that shares with others the love and awe he feels from partnering with a wild animal. Hayes’s livelihood allows him to share with kids the glory of wild animals and keep them away from a life of trouble.

Tatum Monod is the embodiment of grace and agility as she threads down pillowed slopes, steep pines and thickly wooded backcountry in this short 2016 season edit.

Waking Dragons is about Telluride Helitrax dropping bombs on Ajax Peak to control avalanches. This iconic mountain overlooks Telluride, Colorado. This short film is from the point of view from filmmaker Brett Schreckengost in an airborne vantage point. The film captures the majesty of the San Juan Mountains in winter.

Go Pro: Line of the Winter shows what it takes to win GoPro’s Line of the Winter title. Bird calls, huge air, an exhilarating route through the woods, a little rock wall tap and an enormous amount of courage.

My Irnik takes place in the Canadian Arctic in the remote community of Kuujjuaq where a young couple is raising their irnik (son) with an emphasis on adventures, connection to the land, the heritage of dog sledding, learning from the environment and experiencing all that is unique of the Far North. The Far North gives the opportunity to witness the darkness of winter, the thawing of springtime, seal soup for supper and caribou hunting in the fall. This film shows the culture of the Arctic.

Where the Wild Things Play is about the extreme activity of base jumping. The film follows a group of female athletes who jump from high desert cliffs, perform tricks of slacklines, climb granite routes, shred singletrack and ski backcountry lines.

The Time Travelers follows the U.S. Men’s Rafting team. In 2016, they attempted to break the speed record for 277 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon by rowing the entire stretch in a mere 34 hours. They designed and built a 49 foot long rivercraft and trained intensely for eight months until launch day in January 2017. What could have been something strictly goal oriented and purely physical blossomed into an opportunity for camaraderie, broader perspectives and the power of a wild river.

La Langosta is about Rafa Ortiz who decides to take on the daring feat of descending a 70 foot waterfall in a pool toy. 

For more information, visit or call 805/893-3535.

—Lauren Bennett


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