This year marked the 10th annual screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour in Moab, Utah. The small desert town, located between Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park in beautiful red rock country, is a popular stop on the international film tour, which highlights the adventure of climbing, mountain expeditions, remote cultures, and the world's last great wild places.
Dave Early talks to the crowd of over 600 attendees at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Moab, UT. Photo: Yrma van der Steenstraeten
In 2003, Petzl America spearheaded the effort to create a Moab stop on the Banff Mountain Film Festival circuit.
"I looked at the map and realized that there were stops all over Utah, but nothing in Moab." Explained Petzl America Marketing Director John Evans. "I thought that was crazy. Moab is a perfect fit for Banff. It really is one of the hubs for outdoor activities in the United States, from climbing and mountain biking to BASE jumping and canyoneering and more."
Initially, Evans saw the Moab screening as a way to raise funds for the campground at the base of Castleton Tower -- a part of a larger initiative to ensure continued climber access to the iconic desert spire just 20 miles from Moab.
This year's event attracted over 600 people and raised $5,300. The funds went to the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign, a revolving loan program used to fund land-acquisition projects across the United States. Since its founding, the Moab Banff event has raised over $50,000 for similar causes.
John Evans presents Dave Early with the Petzl Spirit award. Photo: Yrma van der Steenstraeten
Castle Valley resident Dave Early has tirelessly organized the Moab event for the entirety of its 10-year existence. He works with a team of volunteers to manage the event logistics, public relations, and even the film selection (not all of the festival films are shown at tour stops). This year, Evans went down to present Early with a Petzl Spirit Award, in recognition of his extraordinary dedication to the community and the environment.
Petzl America has also supported the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour for the past 13 years. With over 700 screenings in more than 390 locations, the tour brings some of the best adventure, cultural, and environmental films to audiences in 35 countries. Many of the events donate some or all of their proceeds to non-profits, making the tour not only a great source of powerful, educational entertainment, but also a force for good in the outdoor community.