Experience a night of extreme sports – climbing, longboarding, paddling, mountain biking, flying, skiing and snowboarding – .without risking life or limb.
You can enjoy it all by sitting in the comfort of the Grand County High School auditorium.
“Radical Reels” is a selection of the best high adrenaline films entered into the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Competition. The Friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center is hosting the Radical Reels Night as a fundraiser 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12.
“They get a lot of films at the Banff Festival,” said Ed Grote, a Friend of the La Sal Avalanche Center. “These are the ones that are higher adrenaline. This is more high energy sports.”
The Friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center provides community support to the La Sal Avalanche Center. The money goes to maintain weather stations, computers and other equipment needed by the Manti LaSal National Forest district to run the center. The Friends also sponsor education and community outreach programs.
Radical Reels has eleven short sports films.
“Being There” is a 14-minute Norwegian film about a gang of fun-loving free skiers who take their sport slope side – and high into the stratosphere with their spectacular athleticism and determination.
“Endless Roads” is a four-minute Spanish film about seven female longboarders on a trip around Spain who connect with new friends and local riders for some crazy downhill in Mallorca.
“Further” is a 26-minute American film about Jeremy Jones quest to camp deep in the backcountry and reach summits under his own steam.
“Lacon De Catalona” is a Norwegian five-minute film about Andreu Lacondeguy who purchased a new bike-training compound outside the city of Barcelona, Spain.
“Of Souls+Water – The Shapeshifter” is a six-minute American film featuring legendary white-water kayaker Ben Marr shredding waves in some of northern Quebec’s most notorious rapids.
“La Dura Dura” is a 28-minute film that won the Radical Reels Night People’s Choice Award. It features the gentlemen’s battle between rock climbing superstars Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra for the for the first ascent of Catalunya’s La Dura Dura,
“Rollerman” is a German three-minute film about rolling daredevil Jean-Yves Blondeau who flies down mountain roads wearing a futuristic body suit covered with wheels.
“Wanna Ride” is a three-minute film about speed-riders Maxence Cavalade and François Bon as they perform an aerial duet in the French Alps.
“Where the Trail Ends” is a 13-minute Canadian film about some of the world’s top freeride mountain bikers, they set off for remote new terrain.
“Whitewater Grand Prix – Big Water Enduro” is a five-minute Canadian film about some of the world’s best whitewater kayakers race down spectacular whitewater in Chile.
“Wingsuit Downhill Target Punch” is a five-minute Swiss film about Alexander Polli who flies in his wingsuit toward a special slalom gate to break through barriers of human flight.
The La Sal Avalanche Center, in partnership with Grand County, has been on the scene providing Moab residents and visitors with avalanche and weather forecasts, as well as avalanche classes and educational seminars since 1988.
“Skiing and beer brings us together,” said Matt Van Sycoc, one of the Friends.
However, it is also an important resource for those who aren’t one of the “friends,” Grote said.
“There are snowmobilers, sledders and others that can take advantage of the station,” Grote said.
Will Kelley, one of the Friends, said that he has relied on the weather stations and forecasts to keep his family safe as they’ve learned to enjoy winter sports on the mountains.
His three children – Liam, 17; Natalia, 14; and Ethan, 21 – learned to cross-country ski on the La Sals.
“They now all have their own set-ups,” Kelley said.
He has seen winter recreation increase on the mountains since he moved to Moab 11 years ago.
“I was glad when I went to the avalanche web site and discovered it is cold and windy,” Kelley said. Seeing the weather conditions and safety conditions would affect his decision whether to take his family to the mountains to play.
Van Sycoc is doing the same with his son, Milo, who is a toddler.
“We have a little trailer with skis, like a bike trailer, and go cross-country skiing with him.” Van Sycoc said. “This year he’ll get to play on something.”
The Friends of the Avalanche Center was organized after a 1992 avalanche in Gold Basin killed Mark Yates, Maribel Loveridge, William Turk and Jeremy Hopkins. The four victims, plus Craig Bigler and Steve Mileski were on a snow testing ski trip when the slope fell, burying all six. Bigler and Mileski were able to dig out of the snow and survived.
Money from the Radical Reels fundraiser will go toward repairs for weather stations on the La Sal Mountains.
The weather station in Gold Basin had some antennae issues during the last snow season.
“It quit working in April,” Grote said. “We finally got it fixed a week ago.”
Grote said that every time it would snow it would quit working.
“It was specifically set up to record snow depth,” Grote said. “But it wouldn’t work when it would snow.”
A marmot chewed all the wires at the pre Laurel Peak weather station that is at 11,700 feet elevation. “That one got damaged by critters,” Grote said.
This is the second Radical Reels fundraiser for the Friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center.
“It’s a bunch of work, but it is our primary fundraiser right now. In the past our fund raising by sending letters out wasn’t as successful as we wished,” Grote said. “It is better to provide a service to people that they can get enjoyment.”
He said that the film night became a social event.
“Last year everybody got together at the movie. There were people I haven’t seen,” he said. “I got excited about skiing. Come and it will be super fun.”