I watch a lot of outdoor films on Youtube, Vimeo and elsewhere. A lot. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have cable, and have already watched Planet Earth on Netflix one million times.
I’ve also been lucky enough to tag along with Lynn as she scouts films at the South Yuba Citizens League Wild and Scenic Film Festival – she’s hosted an on tour stop of the festival in South Lake Tahoe for Sierra Nevada Alliance for the last few years.
So with the format of that great film festival in mind, I thought I would collect my favorites of 2016 all in one place, a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon or to pass the time when a cold is keeping you inside.
First up, is Our Land – a beautifully shot and edited film with some fancy kit about traversing Oregon, surfing, mountain biking and fly fishing along the way.
Next we stay in Oregon with a film about rebuilding a community called Oakridge, in part with mountain biking. This film convinced Lynn and I to stop and ride in Oakridge on our Northwest Road Trip last summer. While this one isn’t actually from 2016, I found it this year, so I’m counting it.
Moving north, this next film also talks about communities embracing mountain biking and tourism as new revenue as timber declines – this time on Vancouver’s Sunshine Coast. Freehub Magazine has been creating some fantastic films, and their work recently caught the attention of Teton Gravity Research, one of the giants of the ski and snowboard movie world, teaming up to produce the “Next Exit” series, which you should also check out.
Bringing the theme of community building with bikes (don’t worry, this won’t only be mountain biking, I promise) closer to home, here’s a video from First Track Productions about a Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association project that brought the South Lake Tahoe community together.
Alright, we’ll leave mountain biking behind for now, and move to what inevitably comes after mountain biking – beer! This is another film about a rural community (in this case, California’s Mono County) diversifying tourism and the economy it brings. I’m lucky to get to write for Mono County Tourism through East River PR, and I personally love June Lake Brewing, so this film was a gimme.
I mentioned the Wild and Scenic Film Festival earlier, and one of my favorite films from the 2016 festival is now free online, thanks to OARS. Martin’s Boat blends a passion for white water and conservation in the desert Southwest.
When I was young, I decided Yosemite was the center of the universe. You should watch every film in the Yosemite Nature Notes series, but this one, published last winter, hit home for me, as I learned to ski at Yosemite’s Badger Pass.
Last up, partially because I haven’t put a rock climbing film in, and partially because I really enjoy all the IFHT films, is “How to be a Rock Climber.”
I’m sure I’m missing a few great videos I watched this year, but this is a good list. What were your favorites from 2016?