Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival coming to Carbondale |

Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival coming to Carbondale

Blue is a testament to the inherent creativity, innovation and strength forged in women of the north. In it we present a spectacle of winter innovation—the icy playground providing a visual journey as never seen before by bike.
Alyson Nicklas

For the second year in a row, the Backcountry Film Festival is coming back to Carbondale and the Crystal Theatre on Jan. 31.

Produced by the Winter Wildlands Alliance, the festival celebrates the backcountry community through film.

“We first and foremost try to have a balance between bigger films, and we also look for those films from individuals filming on their iPhones or GoPro — getting out there and really telling great stories that are super relatable,” Backcountry Film Festival Manager Melinda Quick said.

Quick says the festival premiers every November in Boise, Idaho, before going on a national tour of 100-110 cities each season.

Since 2010, Winter Wildlands Alliance has partnered with Colorado Mountain Club to bring the festival to the state of Colorado.

“Winter Wildlands Alliance works with different grass roots organizations around the country to help them locally, supporting their backcountry community,” Quick said.

“One of the things we’ve been trying to improve is to ensure human-powered access to the backcountry through our Backcountry Sports Initiative,” Colorado Mountain Club Conservation Outreach and Project Manager Brink Messick said.

Through BSI, Colorado Mountain Club has worked on a mapping project for the past few years.

“We take the film festival on tour across the state every year,” Messick said. “We visit these communities where we are hosting the film festival and do mapping exercises with the locals.”

Colorado Mountain Club is working to find out where people are snowshoeing, split boarding, skiing and cross-country skiing, and any other nonmotorized, human-powered backcountry winter sport.

The organization is also creating a database of the popular areas from the information gathered, and working with the national forest to keep the areas nonmotorized.

Winter Wildlands Alliance is working to support Colorado Mountain Club, as they work to preserve and protect public lands.

After stops in Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Pagosa Springs and Dillon, the festival will stop in Carbondale at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The 10 short films that make up this year’s festival will be shown at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. Admission is $18 for CMC members and $20 for nonmembers.

Tickets can be purchased online at, or at the door.

All funds raised are to directly benefit local projects and programs that perpetuate access and stewardship of public lands in Colorado, according to the organizers.

“One of the unique things about this film festival, is that it’s not just an adrenalin-packed event,” Messick said.

Messick says one of the most interesting films this year is “Abandoned,” a film that documents now defunct ski resorts across the state of Colorado.

“It talks about all the abandoned ski resorts … talking about the history of them, and the filmmakers actually go out and ski them,” Quick added.

“It’s a very well-rounded film fest.” Messick added.

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