The Fear of Falling

Rock climbing has historically had one golden rule: The leader must not fall. EVER. Not two feet, not 20 feet. You stay attached to the rock at all times, lest you land yourself in a world of trouble. 150 feet off the deck on an isolated cliff in the middle of West Virginia, I’m contemplating breaking this iron fast rule.
I yell down to my climbing partner Jeff: “I think I’m going to fall!” Jeff’s eyes go wide as he tightens his grip on the rope, his knuckles flashing white as he prepares to catch one big fall. Just as I’m about to break my tenuous grip with Mother Earth and go careening off into space, Jeff yells back: “Wait, don’t fall!”

More Than Cliffhangers

The Banff Mountain Film Festival, a collection of outdoor adventure, environmental, and mountain culture films, rolled into town once again last Friday to dazzle a filled-to-capacity Kennedy Auditorium. This year’s festival, which ran from Oct. 31 through Nov. 9, received some 300 submissions from 37 countries. After the festival, the Banff Mountain Film World Tour hits the road, visiting 200 locations in North America and 28 other countries in a span of six months. Ithaca residents get to vote ahead of time on the eight to ten films they wish to see from the selection of 50 finalists, totalling about two and half hours worth of footage.