February 14, 2003 – The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival will be hosting its 6th Annual event on February 14-23, 2003. This year's program is incredibly packed and varied; more details are on www.vimff.org.
The two kick-off “Everest Uncorked” evenings “The Legacy” and “The Arena” will be dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Everest's first ascent and to the 40th anniversary of the first North American ascent. The guest speakers include: Peter Hillary; Conrad Anker (on Mallory & Irvine in 1924); Jim Whittaker (1st American ascent in 1963); Peter Habeler (1st oxygenless ascent in 1978); Poland's Leszek Cichy (1st winter ascent in 1980); Sharon Wood (1st Canadian and North American woman in 1986); Zelda Skylark (the conqueror of all the peaks on Earth whose name starts with the letter “E”); and British climber-writer “MC” Ed Douglas (“Chomolungma Signs the Blues” and others). One of the scopes of the series is to explore what happened to exploring “The Ultimate Hump” over the course of the last century. Part of the series will be a panel discussion with all speakers.
Other festival speakers include Barry Blanchard (on alpine climbing in the Canadian Rockies); Timmy O'Neill aka Urban Ape (on his fastest ascent in Yosemite and Patagonia); Jerry Kobalenko (on Ellesmere Island); and local heroes Jim Milina (Kilimanjaro), Jeremy Frimer (1st ascent of Orion Spur on Mt Logan), and Guy Edwards (Swachand in India). Peter Habeler and Leszek Cichy will speak about their lifetime high-altitude climbing careers, and Conrad Anker about his technical climbs and the Antarctic adventure in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
A more or less complete program is now available at the festival website, www.vimff.org.