Day by day we get closer to society wide lock down as a way to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus/ COVID-19. It will be a long 14 days once we’re all inside. Here are a few ideas and resources that might help keep you sane and inspired.
Look after yourselves, neighbours and communities in these coming weeks and months. I can’t say it better than TGR did: Be Safe. Be Well. Be Kind.
Header image is from Rock and Ice magazine (photographer link here).
While you’re inside
Outdoor adventurers on staying active during the lock down
Staying active – From Rock and Ice: Coronavirus is limiting options for getting your climbing fix. When you can’t climb at the gym and you don’t have your own home wall, it’s time to get creative
This one is some physical exercises for life on the inside.
Just to make you a bit jealous: Working From Home In a Rolling Home Named Bernie Vanders.
Reading, watching and a good listen
The staff at Outside Magazine list what they are reading, watching and listening to during the lockdown. Available here.
This summary of walking/ skiing The Australian Alps Walking Track in winter includes stories, a video, and amazing images. From Mark Oates: ‘In the middle of winter 2018 my brother Andy, a Paramedic from East Gippsland, and I, an Outdoor Education Teacher from Hobart, set out to complete a 660 kilometre, south to north, winter traverse of the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT).’ Available here.
Mountain Journal has a list of our favourite backcountry ski and riding films. Many of the reviews link to the films. Check them here. You have to watch Valhalla, from Sweetgrass Productions, at least once! (my review of Valhalla is here).
Watch the 2020 season of the Backcountry film festival. Because we had to cancel our screenings in Australia it’s great that Winter Wildlands Alliance have offered the films on line for free.
Gear Junkie’s list of their “10 favorite adventure movies and documentaries that are sure to inspire”.
Everyone loves legendary snow boarder Jeremy Jones. Amazing rider, activist and all round good human being. Even better, he’s a Dead Head. Fire on the Mountain is a recent collaboration with TGR featuring some amazing skiers, riders and surfers.This is another great film featuring Jeremy.
Then there is the recent Ode to Muir. ‘Snowboarders Jeremy Jones and Elena Hight embark on an expedition into California’s John Muir Wilderness. Their journey balances the challenges of winter with what it means to explore such a vast natural environment’. Jeremy waxes lyrical on the continuing need for wild places. Available here.
This is another great film featuring Jeremy. Roadless. ‘In the winter of 2019, Bryan Iguchi teamed up with fellow snowboarders Jeremy Jones and Travis Rice to explore a wild part of Wyoming on a 10-day human-powered expedition’. You can view it here.
And who doesn’t love the incredible urban skiing scene with JP Auclair filmed in Trail, BC, as featured in All.I.Can?
Check here for links to all the documentaries from Patagonia.
Four great backcountry films from Backcountry Magazine, available here.
35. I do love this film about turning 35, with a nice sound track from Gregory Alan Isakov. ‘Every year we get a little older. How you choose to celebrate is up to you. Take the birthday challenge. Writer Brendan Leonard delivers a dedication to the joys – both big and small – of the climbing life.’
Denali. ‘The film chronicles adventure photographer Ben Moon’s journey through cancer from the perspective of his most devoted friend, his dog Denali. But the film is also a goodbye to Denali, then in his twilight years, as the pair revisit their favorite surf breaks and climbing crags one last time’. Bit of a tear jerker. Available here.
The Love Letter. ‘We walked 300 miles through the Sierra with climbing gear on our backs. We wanted to follow in the footsteps of our heroes — John Muir and David Brower. We got shingles. We broke bones. We got stuck in a blizzard. Ultimately, we wanted to make a movie about joy. You forget the bad parts anyway’. A lovely film from Fitz and Becca Cahall.
Music for Free. This is visually stunning. In 2018, musician Ben Weaver rode his bike along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to the U.S.-Mexico border, the longest mapped mountain bike trail on the planet. Along the way he played free gigs for the people he met.
Our family. A telemark ski film. ‘Just beneath the northern Sierra crest lies Lake Tahoe, a place that embodies the heart and sole (sic) of the mountain community in California. This year, our film delves into the close ties that make up that community and why many of us live they way we do’. Available here.
Only Music // Alaska. A hitch hiking trip from Colorado to Alaska. A bit Christian orientated, but a lovely adventure about the ‘magic of mutual trust, the magic of the kindness of strangers’. Available here.
Where the Wild Things Play. ‘This is our homage to all the badass, adventurous ladies we know’. Available here.
Treeline. This is beautiful film celebrating the forests on which humans have always depended. Available here.
My Wild Home // Australian Alps. A lovely homage to Coen’s dad. From We Are Explorers. ‘We ventured deep into the Aussie backcountry with pro skier Coen Bennie-Faull to discover what fuels his fire. This is the Australian Alps as you’ve never seen them before’.
The Last Hill. A nice story about a bunch of friends riding down the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, climbing and skiing peaks along the way. ‘Searching for an honest adventure right out their backdoor, a group of skiers and snowboarders travel south from Reno, Nevada on bicycles loaded down with ski and camp gear’.
Close to Home. A beautifully upbeat film about appreciation g your backyard.
‘Often, we dream too faraway to appreciate what is in our own backyard. The simplest way to explore is to look around you. Mobilized by this philosophy and the sensory experience of snowboarding, Patagonia ambassador Nicholas Wolken spent the past two seasons enjoying what nature had to offer only a train ride away from the town where he grew up. The result is Close to Home.’
Arrabri Ski Club at Mt Hotham has a great list of 200 free to stream outdoor adventure films. Available here.
Mountain Journal has a series of interviews with people who have a long connection to the mountains. Available here.
The Cleanest Line is Patagonia’s blog. Always great stories covering adventure and activism.
Outdoor Research offers the best articles from their blog Verticulture.
Robert MacFarlane has written some wonderful mountain and landscape related books.
During the coronavirus lockin, he is running a book club via his twitter account, starting with Nan Shepherd’s ‘slender masterpiece’ The Living Mountain.
I love Orion Magazine. Great writing on nature and culture.
I only recently discovered that there is another Mountain Journal. This one is based in the USA and is a ‘journalistic watchdog and celebrant of Greater Yellowstone’. Worth a read.
Pondering possibilities during this time of pause (from Mountain Journal USA)
Listen and chat
The Dirtbag Diaries
Wonderful outdoor themed podcast from climber Fitz Cahall and his friends. ‘Homegrown Podcast for dirtbags and their allies’.
The Mountain Cosmos hosts podcast interviews with people whose lives are focused on mountains, here and overseas.
It is the work of Rouchelle Gilmore and can be found here.
The Backcountry Magazine podcasts. Ep 2 is on Climate and COVID. It’s a great listen. ‘Episode 2 of Backcountry’s Plan B Podcast looks at climate change with Bill McKibben, author, climate activist and founder of 350.org; Sam Killgore, communications manager at Protect Our Winters; and Dr. John Hausdoerffer, director of the Master in Environmental Management Program at Western Colorado University. Along with hosts Adam Howard and Lucy Higgins, they’ll consider what the global pandemic and the resulting economic crisis will teach us about carbon emission reduction’.
Totally Deep Backcountry Podcast. As the name suggests, this is about all things BC. Available here.
Get on line and ask some questions or debate gear with the ever reliable crew on the backcountry forum.
Staying outside (or at least watching what’s happening outside)
‘This global pandemic has us all pretty freaked out. Handled responsibly, open space and wildlife observation might be just the balm you need’. From the Audubon Society.
Wild animal cams. You need some of these.
An interesting piece from Outside about the ethics and dilemmas of long distance hiking during the pandemic.
A complete guide to social distancing while on backcountry adventures
Send your fave reads, films and podcasts for inclusion
This is just a start.
Please email me the details of your favourites for inclusion on the page:
And when this is all over …
See you at the Backcountry festival! (September 4 – 6, at Mt Hotham).