POW's Stoke Fest Film Festival comes to Bozeman September 30.
As we head into fall and our minds start wandering toward winter, it's easy to get excited for what lies ahead. Whether you're dreaming about face-shots of cold-smoke powder, columns of blue ice clinging to the walls of Hyalite, or cruising corduroy on a pair of skate skis, winter recreation holds a special place in the hearts of Bozemanites. Getting outside keeps our morale high through the coldest, darkest months. We embrace the hardship—we thrive in winter for all that it's worth.
What is winter worth to us? For many, this question has become more pressing with each coming year as we experience stunted ski seasons, ecological disruption, and lost traditions. Last winter, Bridger Bowl didn't open until the weekend before Christmas—two weeks later than usual. Our cherished, native whitebark pine are clinging on for dear life as hordes of beetles move farther north with the warming temps. Ice skating in town? We could count on two hands the number of days our rinks were frozen solid last winter.
There's no denying that the effects of climate change on our winter landscape are widespread, affecting us all. But what can be done? Who's to blame? Is there any hope? This fall, Protect Our Winters (POW) is taking the stage to delve into these discussions with some of our leading winter athletes, storytellers, and scientists.
The Stoke Fest Film Festival is centered around three films that tell the stories of climate impacts across a multitude of activities and locations. First up is Sam & Me—in which 13-year-old Sam Tierney, worried about the future of winter, writes to professional skier and climate advocate Mike Douglas for support. Seeing his own young self in Sam, Mike invites Sam on weekly ski meet-ups, where the two discuss climate, skiing, and life.
Next comes Usufruct, which follows three cyclists on a bikepacking journey through beetle-killed and heavily-burned forest. Though the landscape is beautiful nonetheless, the effects of the kill are omnipotent. The crew's goal is to learn what they can do—what we all can do—to right the ship.
Rounding out the trifecta is An Imperfect Advocate, wherein climber Graham Zimmerman—recipient of the Piolet d'Or award for his team's first-ascent of Link Sar in Pakistan's remote Charakusa Valley—grapples with his own carbon footprint as a world-traveling alpinist. Graham shares his experience in how to be the best stewards we can through our outdoor pursuits.
Guest panelists at the Stoke Fest Film Festival include local-legend climber Conrad Anker, Bozeman-based film director Max Lowe, comedian & wildlife biologist Eeland Stribling of the Cottonwood Institute in Denver, snow hydrologist Dr. McKenzie Skiles from the University of Utah, and professional skier & host Amie Engerbreston.
Doors open at 6pm and the films start at 7pm. Get your tickets here, and we'll see you at the show.