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Epic cycling, tough climbs and elemental suffering: the Banff Mountain Film festival

Epic cycling, tough climbs and elemental suffering: the Banff Mountain Film festival

Now touring the UK, this festival of the best adventure documentaries will be balm to those who missed outdoor action in the pandemic The past…

Monday, Feb 28

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Now touring the UK, this festival of the best adventure documentaries will be balm to those who missed outdoor action in the pandemic

The past two years have been rough at times for those who enjoy outdoor sports. Climbers without crags on their doorstep have ruined their elbows hanging from door frames. Cyclists have invested in indoor training machines. For many, getting outside has meant running in nearby parks and dashing to hills and lakes whenever the opportunity has arisen.

While outdoor adventure documentaries have long been a staple of this community, they took on a new meaning during the pandemic as a reminder of a world beyond working from home and trying to stay fit. Danny MacAskill in the Slabs. Photograph: Dave Mackison The Banff Mountain Film festival has long showcased the best of this genre, and in more recent years has also taken it on tour: over the rest of this year it is showing at 50 venues across the UK and Ireland.

Some of the films will be familiar to many, but are worth catching on a big screen. In this category is The Slabs , featuring Scottish mountain biker Danny MacAskill’s terrifying descent of the 500-metre Dubh Slabs on the Isle of Skye.

Filmed during lockdown in 2020, the film garnered millions of views when it was first released online last year. I have watched it several times, and MacAskill’s descent of the steepest section, a rounded ridge of bald granite still has my heart in my mouth. Danny […]

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