Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Bowl and MountainFilm

Sunday, February 3, we headed to Keystone for a day of skiing and boarding. Keystone is usually a lot quieter than Breckenridge on the weekends, so we often go there on Sundays. After a full day at the slopes, we went to a local Mexican restaurant called Dos Locos to watch the Super Bowl. We went there on a recommendation from a couple of ski patrollers who we’d ridden on the lift with earlier in the day. True to their word, there were free chips with yummy salsa, cheap tacos and beer, as well as plenty of TVs to watch the game on. We got a great seat, right behind a couch in front of the biggest screen in the place. The game was disappointing – how did the Patriots let it get away after such a great season? We weren’t overly impressed with the ads either, though we did get a chuckle out of the tire commercial with the screaming animals as a car barely avoids hitting a squirrel.

When we left the bar, it was snowing again. It seems like it’s snowed almost daily recently. The drive home, over the Swan Mountain Road, which is a crazy narrow two-lane road, was even hairier than usual as snow fell hard and made visibility almost nonexistent.

Monday, after a day of skiing at Breckenridge, we went to the Speakeasy for the second installment of the touring Telluride MountainFilm Festival. We’d gone to the first show soon after we arrived in Breckenridge in January. Each festival night, they show a series of short films related to “issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, and conversations worth sustaining.” This night’s show started with a film about a mountain biker named Ryan Leech who created and rode a new trail through an old-growth forest in British Columbia that was slated to be clear cut to make disposable paper products. The course was crazy – Ryan was riding on narrow logs and bouncing from one to another. The film has raised enough awareness that the forest has received at least a temporary reprieve as activists fight to save it.

Another film, titled “Friday at the Farm”, chronicled a man’s journey from being totally disconnected from the source of his food to joining and working at a community-supported organic farm. This film was interesting because it wasn’t really a film; it was a composition of over twenty thousand still photos that were taken at the farm. Other films included a documentary about a Swiss expedition trying to pioneer a new route up Thalay Sagar in the Himalayas, a film following several injured soldiers returning from Iraq who learn to ski with adaptive equipment, and a film chronicling a way of life in the Annapurnas that is rapidly changing because a new military highway is bringing outside influences to this isolated area.

During the intermission, there was a raffle with a number of Marmot clothing items as prizes. Marmot apparently supports the dZi Foundation, which was a beneficiary of the event. Some of the items, like a bubble-gum pink down coat, went to people of the appropriate gender, but there were also some funny mismatches, like the guy who won women’s snowboarding pants. At any rate, the crowd had a good laugh.

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