Engearment Writer’s Favorite Films Part 1 (new films)

Kate Agathon


Squeezed somewhere between President’s Day and Spring Break, annual adventure film festivals such as the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (February 24-March 6), Banff Mountain Film Festival (March 3-5), and No Man’s Land Film Festival (March 4-5) break up the monotony with stories of outdoor adventure.

In honor of adventure film season, the Engearment crew shares our favorite adventure films in this two-part series. From the newly-discovered to the ones that bring the stoke with every viewing, these films stand out among the rest.

In Part One, we list newly released films that we love.

Our favorite new films.

14 Peaks (2021)

The documentary chronicles Nepali mountaineer Nimsdai Purja’s quest to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks in seven months; a feat considered impossible by even the most experienced mountaineers.

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The skepticism is well founded, as the previous record (prior to 2019) of the fastest ascent of all 8,000-meter peaks was 7 years and 310 days. Purja shattered world records by completing the feat in 7 months.

A former Gurkha, Nims is well aware of the lack of recognition that sherpas receive in the elite world of high altitude mountaineering, and selects an all sherpa team to help him achieve this monumental feat.

“The first time I saw this film, I was absolutely blown away by how absolutely driven and seemingly infallible Purja aka ‘Nims’ is with his goal. Everything he did was with intention and passion. I was so inspired, I rewatched it no less than 5 times within a 48-hour span and ordered his book.” – Kate, Dr. of Stoke

The Alpinist (2020)

The Alpinist follows Canadian nonconformist rock climber and alpinist Marc-André Leclerc, as he free solos some of the world’s most dangerous peaks. Elusive, humble, and quirky, Leclerc is somewhat of a climbing purist who clearly climbs just to experience the pure joy of it.

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As he takes on terrifying terrain, he seems almost indifferent to the technical skillset he was gifted with that is required to complete such missions. His personality, passion, and skills make him memorable; it’s Leclerc’s world and we’re just living in it.

“The Alpinist blew my mind! It’s like Free Solo on ice, but with an even more compelling backstory. Such a beautiful way to tell the story of one of the best mountaineers of our generation. Plus, I watched it in theaters and some of those ice climbing sequences made me sick to my stomach!”- Jace

The Approach (2021)

Produced by The North Face and noted for offering a unique and refreshing perspective, The Approach is a short (35 minute) action ski and snowboard film featuring BIPOC, adaptive athletes, and women shredding the slopes and doing what they love.

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In essence, these people are real. They are relatable. They are inspirational. They’re who embody the true spirit of the mountain community; not the ones you see on mainstream media.

“So my favorite film this winter is The Approach. This film has an incredibly diverse line of skiers and snowboarders who have broken down barriers in their fields. It stars my locally favorite skier, Ingrid Backstrom (who has been inspirational to me since I learned how to ski), and goes all the way to 4-season shredder and awesome artist, Brooklyn Bell. The sound track and filming are spot on, too. On the whole, this film leaves you stoked.” – Reid

The Long Traverse (2021)

The Long Traverse follows professional mountain biker Chris Blevens as he hopes to establish a FKT (fastest known time) through the 81-mile, 11,425 foot Los Padres Traverse. Accompanied by Dillon Osleger, the two consider the history of landscape and climate change to trail-based outdoor recreation.

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“My favorite new adventure film that I recommend checking out is The Long Traverse presented by Specialized. It did a great job mixing a cycling FKT with environmental awareness and human relationships. I’m really looking forward to what director Keenan Desplanques works on next.” – Evan

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