Top 5: Mountain Winter Film Festivals

Mountain winter film festivals are the ski season counterpart to baseball’s “seventh inning stretch.” After a few weeks of outrageous snow conditions, it feels good to take a break, sit back, and get stoked for the next level of outdoor adventures. Seeing films by talented filmmakers and outstanding athletes (and chatting up your mountain community neighbors) can work wonders on any mid-winter blahs that may have crept in with the latest wind hold/road closure/driveway burial.

At the very least, these festivals remind us that Spring is, indeed, around the corner, and the bikes, climbing gear, and hiking boots will join the rotation soon enough. Get out and get inspired at one of these film festivals this season:

Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
Tahoe City, CA | February

As part of the Alpenglow Sports Mountain Festival, the 12th Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will show in Tahoe City on February 21 at Granlibakken Resort. Adventure, environment and climate, youth outdoors, ski culture – you’ll find it all in this award-winning lineup. Doors open at 6pm, films begin at 7pm. Come early for good seats, killer raffle and cold beers. Tickets are available at the door for $12.00.

Alpenglow Sports Winter Film Series
Olympic Valley, CA | February

The Alpenglow Sports Winter Film Series has become an eagerly anticipated winter tradition for North Tahoe’s skiing, climbing, and adventure community. On February 23, world-famous high altitude climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards will document their oxygen-less ascent of Mt. Everest from the spring of 2016. The two documented their expedition on their Snapchat account, EverestNoFilter. Doors open at 7pm at the Squaw Valley Conference Center and the show is free.

Tahoe Adventure Film Festival
Mammoth Lakes, CA | March

The Tahoe Adventure Film Festival highlights action and adventure sports films, and is “the next best thing to doing it.” Every December, Lake Tahoe overflows with athletes, filmmakers and action sports enthusiasts, and then the show goes on the road for limited engagements in neighboring mountain communities. This touring festival of the most extreme outdoor adventure footage you will ever see returns for its sixth year to Mammoth Lakes on Saturday, March 11. Shows start at 5:30 and 7pm, and tickets are available online.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour
Stateline, NV | March and San Francisco, CA | April


The Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. Each year, powerful environmental and adventure films are selected so that you are inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world. The 2017 Film Festivals benefit the Sierra Nevada Alliance & Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership.

On Friday, March 24, the festival returns to MontBleu Resort in Stateline, NV. On April 1, the festival travels to the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA.

Banff Mountain Festival World Tour
Stateline, NV and Reno, NV | April

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. The Festival is held each year in November in Banff, Canada, and features a collection of thought-provoking films from all over the globe. Since 1986, the best films head off on the Banff Mountain Festival World Tour to showcase the efforts and talents of the world’s finest mountain filmmakers to audiences around the globe.

All US locations planned for 2017 can be found on their website, but plan ahead and save the date for the following Sierra Nevada locations: Bishop, CA (March 31 – April 1), Stateline, NV /South Lake Tahoe, CA (April 3-4), Reno, NV (April 6), Downieville (April 7-9), Chico, CA (April 13-14), and Redding (April 15).