Doing It Scared
Eighteen years ago, Paul Pritchard was abseiling from the top of the Totem Pole, a gravity-defying tower that juts out from the sea off the coast of Tasmania, when he dislodged a boulder that hit him on the head. In an instant, his life changed: The accident left Paul with hemiplegia, a condition that severely limits movement and feeling on the right side of his body. But it didn’t shut him down. In Doing it Scared, Pritchard, with the help of his friends and fellow climbers, returns to the Totem Pole to challenge himself in an entirely new way.
Into Twin Galaxies
Somewhere near Baffin Bay, in the frozen expanse of western Greenland’s ice sheets, are two connected rivers. It’s a never-before-explored area that polar adventurers Sarah McNair-Landry, Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry have dubbed “Twin Galaxies.” The trio are true explorers, hauling sleds of gear and kayaks across 600 miles of glaciers and crevasses to be the first to run an Arctic river that they’ve only glimpsed on Google Earth. The 46-day expedition combines kiteboarding, skiing, camping and kayaking and is fraught with injuries, disappointments and frigid weather. But their efforts are rewarded with stunning canyons of blue ice and the chance to paddle first descents of churning waterfalls that spit them out into the Arctic Ocean.
2017 Presentation: Sarah McNair-Landry, Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry
As the daughter of Arctic guides who grew up roaming the wilderness of Baffin Island via kite skis and sled dogs, Sarah McNair-Landry was raised on polar exploration. Fittingly, she made the first traverse of the Northwest Passage by snowkite with her brother in 2011. Erik Boomer, meanwhile, is an Idaho native and kayaking hardman known both for running massive whitewater drops and embarking on intrepid expeditions — such as circumnavigating Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic with Jon Turk. And kayaker Ben Stookesberry has made a career of achieving first descents on wild and unexplored rivers from Colombia and Papua New Guinea; he has notched 70 first descents in 15 countries. When the three of them put their heads together for an expedition, the result was as epic and far-flung as you might imagine: traverse the Greenland Ice Sheet on kite skis before paddling a first descent of a barely known Arctic river. Their ambitious journey is the subject of the documentary Into Twin Galaxies (page XX). In this presentation, the trio of explorers will tell the behind-the-scenes stories — which include family, frigid water and a trip-threatening injury — that couldn’t fit into the film.
In Person: Erik BoomerSarah McNair-LandryBen Stookesberry