Monday, March 12, 2012

Call for submissions: Backcountry Film Festival

Winter Wildlands Alliance is seeking entries for its 8th annual Backcountry Film Festival.

The Backcountry Film Festival seeks to promote the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell compelling and entertaining stories of backcountry, nonmotorized recreation and environmental preservation. Do you have a compelling story, some quality footage and a keen eye for a fun, educational or juicy topic.
This year’s categories are:  Best Short Short (under 5 minutes), Best Environmental Message and Best of Festival.
·         Your film should be short—no longer than 30 minutes—and tell a thought-provoking, interesting story of backcountry, nonmotorized recreation or environmental preservation.  Your film should take place during or otherwise relate to the winter.  We’re open minded about what kind of films we’ll show: documentaries, fiction and experimental films are welcome.

·         The Film Festival premieres in Boise November 2012 and travels during the winter months to more than 80 locations throughout the nation. 

·         Submissions must be in DVD format, please include 3 copies.  Your submission must be received in our Boise office by September 15

Mail package to: Winter Wildlands Alliance, Attn: Shelley Pursell
910 Main Street, Suite 235, Boise ID 83702.  Contact Shelley Pursell at or 208-343-1630 for details.

Backcountry Skiing in the News:

It turns out backcountry skiing is interesting not just to those of us who do it, but to others as well.  Time hosts on their page a video of some new backcountry tech that even flatlanders are impressed by:  a Backcountry Access Float 30.  Check out this video of the airbag saving someone from serious slide.  

Our state is also making the news for having some of the most avalanche prone slopes in the last 30 years.  Here's a video of one skier-triggered avalanche at Red Mountain Pass, an area where many CMC members ski and where CMC helps support a Forest Service winter ranger.  The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) issued a special warning to skiers over the Presidents Day Weekend.  

Front Range skiers will have a new hut to visit at Berthoud Pass, part of the new Grand Huts Association.  And Colorado's Junior Snowshoers grabbed a headline and article in Snowshoe Mag, discussing their plans for this weekend's competition in Frisco.  

If you see something in the news you'd like to share, send it to for our next newsletter.

Colorado Hosts U.S. Snowshoe Championship

When the United States Snowshoe Association descends (ascends?) on Frisco this Saturday, the CMC will be on hand to help share knowledge and enthusiasm for the human-powered sport.  With a new book published last fall ( Snowshoe Routes of Colorado's Front Range) offered for sale and perusal as well as all the usual info on BSI and our wilderness campaigns, newcomers to the sport will be well-outfitted for success.  Stop by to see our booth in between races!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CMC Supports Winter Ranger

The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative continues its funding this year of a winter education and enforcement ranger at Red Mountain Pass in the Ouray Ranger District.  The program, begun by the Red Mountain Pass Group of the Backcountry Snowsports Alliance several years ago, is funded by the Forest Service, local CMC members, and the BSI.  It continues to yield good results for the land and backcountry skiers alike, according to data and visitor anecdotes.  Last year, Ranger Andrew Naher talked with nearly 1,000 visitors at various sites.  This year, the Forest Service ranger will focus more exclusively on Red Mountain Pass and other high-traffic ski areas than he did last year, when he also patrolled more heavily motorized use areas.
The Forest Service is always looking for volunteers to help with user education.  If you would like to help by putting up signs, being a "BSI Ambassador" at trailheads, or hosting an event to raise money for the program, please contact Jay Heeter for more info.

CMC Hosts Backcountry Film Festival

WWA Backcountry FIlm Fest
This winter season, CMC is hosting five Backcountry Film Festivals at locations across the state.  The first two events -- in Golden and Boulder -- were great successes, with attendance nearly five times last year's level.  We now look forward to at least three more events: You can buy tickets online for events in Durango, Evergreen and Aspen, via the links below.  
 This year's films feature not just skiing and snowboarding, but other winter sports you might not have thought of, like icewater kayaking!  We also have door prize drawings at each event, so show up early.
Visit to watch trailers and learn more about these amazing films.
Our three remaining scheduled shows are:
February 7 - Durango - 7 p.m. at Pine Needle Mountaineering (835 Main Avenue) - 970-247-8728
Buy tickets at
February 8 - Evergreen - 6:30 p.m. at the "Cafe at the Place" (27886 Meadow Drive) - 303-996-2759
April 4 - Aspen - Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (100 Puppy Smith Street) - 970-925-5756
Buy tickets at
We will likely also have a show in Carbondale at the Third Street Center.  Reply to this email if you would like more info about that event or any other.