Charlie Fowler: Keeping a Memory Alive

Charlie Fowler perished in an avalanche in China in 2006, along with his climbing partner Christine Boskoff. He was a world-class mountaineer and climber, and some of his most noteworthy ascents were with no rope. Rock and Ice lists his accomplishments in detail. Here’s a short sampling:

He soloed David Breashears’ technical Eldo Scarefest Perilous Journey (5.11d X), the Loose Flakes Route (5.10) on the 1,500-foot walls of the Black Canyon, and the 1,800-meter Direct North Face of the Eiger. Fowler’s more conventional climbing resume is mind-blowing — 8,000-meter peaks like Everest without oxygen (and without actually using an ice axe), 5.13 rock, hard bouldering, A4 big walls and myriad first ascents: free, aid, ice and alpine.

Mountainfilm Commitment Grant: 2012 Winners

2012 marks the third year since we launched our Mountainfilm Commitment Grant program. Our goal is to help creative individuals tell stories that represent the spirit of Mountainfilm in Telluride. We’ve watched the number of applicants grow each year and been impressed by both the quality and diversity of the proposals. This year, the five grantees are working on films that range in subject from climbing to gold mining:

2012 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant Winners

Conrad Anker: From One Summit to the Next

Mountainfilm in Telluride invited Conrad Anker to town in mid-March, and he spoke to a packed room about his recent summit of Meru, a highly technical peak in India that has eluded many top-notch climbers for decades. Anker had been "obsessed" with the peak for 20 years, and his last unsuccessful attempt in 2008 with Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk was chronicled in Samsara, which won Mountainfilmin in Telluride's 2009 Charlie Fowler Award. The three men went back last fall, an effort that will be the subject of a new film, called House of Cards, that will premiere at Mountainfilm May 2012.

Film about the Top Ascent of 2011 to Premiere at Mountainfilm in Telluride

Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk Bring House of Cards to Festival

Telluride, Colorado (March 13, 2012) –On October 2, 2011, world-renowned climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk summited the Shark’s Fin, a granite buttress on the northeast side of 6,310-meter Meru Central in the Gangotri mountains of India. Their feat was ranked first in a list of “Top 10 Ascents of 2011” in Rock and Ice and is now the subject of a documentary called House of Cards, which will premiere at Mountainfilm in Telluride’s annual festival May 25-28.

The Folly of Man: A Complicated Dispute Over Bolts on Cerro Torre

Even if you’re not a climber, this is a fascinating story. It’s got all the elements of a good tale — a strong cast of characters, a stunning setting, tragedy and many complicated plot twists.

Once upon a time, an Italian named Casare Maestri and an Austrian called Toni Egger climbed one of the world’s most difficult peaks, Patagonia’s Cerro Torre, in 1959. Their success was marred by two significant factors: 1. Egger died after they summited, and 2. Maestri’s claim of success turned out to be a bold-faced lie.

Maestri returned to the climb in 1970 to defend his honor and climb the mountain once more, this time fixing thousands of feet of rope and using a gas-powered drill to install approximately 400 bolts up the granite spire. Again, he claimed success, although he was actually a few hundred feet short of the true summit — a minor detail he dismissed, saying this section was “not really part of the mountain,” because “it’ll blow away one of these days.”

Two of the World’s Top Climbers to Present at Mountainfilm in Telluride

Chris Sharma and Steve House Confirm Appearances in May

Telluride, Colorado (January 31, 2012) – Mountainfilm in Telluride presents a literal rock star lineup for its 34th annual festival this May 25 to 28. Chris Sharma — considered one of the world’s best rock climbers — and Steve House, hailed as one of the best high-altitude mountaineers in the world — will attend this spring’s festival as guest speakers.

Mountainfilm Regulars Are The First Up The NW Face Of Meru's Shark Fin In India

In 2008, Mountainfilm regulars Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk attempted to climb the NW Face of Meru's Shark Fin in India, which had stymied an all-star list of climbers including Anker's mentor, Mugs Stump. This team wasn't able to make it to the top either, but Samsara, an outstanding film directed by the ridiculously talented Ozturk that resulted from the expedition, won Mountainfilm's Charlie Fowler Prize at the 2009 festival. The three men reunited this year to take another shot at it and on October 2, made mountaineering history by being the first people to climb the North West Face of the peak. Chin sent photos from the expedition and Ozturk recently responded to questions from Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke.

Watch: Renan Ozturk is Back on the Mend

Filmmaker Renan Ozturk, who suffered a skiing accident in March, is back on the mend and back climbing.

"Even though I'm not technically cleared for psychical therapy yet, the time has finally come for some soul therapy."

Living The Dream 2 from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

Mountainfilm Preview 2010: 180 South Trailer

Now that we're in the countdown to this year's festival, we''re sure you want to check out what films we'll be featuring. Instead of just listing them, we'll be posting trailers to selected films each Tuesday and Thursday, so keep an eye out for what's to come! Today we're featuring 180 South.
In 1968, Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins and Lito Tejada-Flores were part of a group that drove from Ventura, California, to Patagonia to climb a new route on Mt. Fitzroy. The epic trip spawned a great mountaineering film (Fitzroy) and two major outdoor companies (Patagonia and The North Face).

Photo Inspiration: Mt Adams

Mt AdamsAs part of our photo contest, we’re featuring some of our favorites here on the blog. Every week we’ll be bringing you another photo that in one way or another reflects our mission statement: educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining.