Pamela "Shanti" Pack is probably the meanest crack climber you'll ever meet, according to promoters of the Radical Reels Tour. From the film "Off-Width Outlaw." [Photo by Fred Marmsater]

October at the movies is the season of the cheapo slasher flick, the spooky ghost story and dystopian sagas of zombies on the loose.

Moviegoers looking for different kinds of thrills can find them in Moab this weekend.

The Radical Reels Tour is bringing 11 short but intense tales of real-life excitement to the Grand County High School Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 11. The screening is for a worthy cause: Ticket sales will benefit the Utah Avalanche Center’s Moab-area operations.

This year marks the third time that the specialized offshoot of the Banff Mountain Film Festival has come to town.

The latest roster of movies includes a carefully-chosen selection of professionally-made shorts, along with submissions from amateur filmmakers. Both kinds of films have one thing in common, according to local Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center volunteer Ed Grote: They focus on high-adrenaline and extreme outdoor sports.

“There’s a whole realm of people doing really nutty things on bikes and skis and kayaks,” Grote said.

Audience members can expect to see those people caught up in intense situations, so they should be aware that not all films are necessarily suitable for young children or those who object to strong language. Anyone else who doesn’t mind the sound of the occasional four-letter word should have a blast.

“These movies are really cool,” Grote said. “They’re fun; they’re exciting.”

Of course, adrenaline junkies do exciting things around Moab every day of the week, and Grote thinks moviegoers may get a kick out of seeing themselves reflected on the screen.

“Moab has a lot of outdoor sports, and the people are doing in these films what people here do,” Grote said.

The only difference is that they’re doing them in other exotic places around the globe.

In the film “Beyond the Drop,” for instance, six pro kayakers explore running waterfalls in Mexico, while “Dream Lines IV” showcases wingsuit flyers in France and Switzerland.

“Supervention” shifts the action to Norway, where world-class skiers tackle big mountains and rail slides in spectacular locations.

Radical Reels is heavy on the testosterone, but festival promoters say they’re making a concerted effort to include more films that profile women.

This year, they’re introducing audiences to Pamela Shanti Pack, the “meanest” crack climbing “Off-Width Outlaw” they’ll ever meet. A group of women also throw down some “insane” ski tricks in “Nine Queens — Shades of Winter,” according to a synopsis of the movie.

Other short films focus on World Wingsuit Champion Espen Fadnes; climbers Yuji Hirayama and Daniel Woods; and a team of “Walled In” kayakers who descend into the heart of a gorge.

All in all, it promises to be an action-packed fundraising event for the local Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center volunteers, who were previously known as the Friends of the La Sal Avalanche Center.

While their name has changed, their mission hasn’t, according to Grote.

“We are still the same bunch of dedicated folks, and all of the funds are kept for use here,” he said.

Those funds help Grote maintain two weather stations in the La Sal Mountains, and they pay for repairs to computers and other equipment.

The Friends group also helps support local Utah Avalanche Center forecaster Eric Trenbeath through a cost-sharing agreement with the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and Grote wants to ensure that important work can continue.

“As a community, we need to come up with the money to show support for the Forest Service to maintain the avalanche center,” he said.

The group, which remains actively involved in wintertime search and rescue operations, also hosts avalanche awareness classes, educational seminars and outreach efforts that promote the “know before you go” message.

“You can go out safely at times in the backcountry, but you need to have some information with you before you go,” Grote said.

Once the local avalanche season begins, backcountry visitors can find the latest updates on the avalanche center’s website at: http://utahavalanchecenter.org/advisory/moab, or on its Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/UtahAvalancheCenterMoab.

For more information about Radical Reels, call 435-260-8983. You can also go to radicalreels.com, or visit facebook.com/RadReels.

Advance tickets are available for $10 at Back of Beyond Books, Canyon Voyages Adventure Co., Poison Spider Bicycles and Pagan Mountaineering. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Radical Reels Tour returns to Moab

What: Radical Reels Tour

Where: Grand County High School Auditorium, 608 S. 400 E.

When: Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

 

There’s a whole realm of people doing really nutty things on bikes and skis and kayaks.