With the announcement of Ontario's STAY AT HOME order, we can no longer get out to hike, climb, bike and explore. But while we're hunkered down, we've found alternate ways to keep the fire of adventure burning.
Each week we'll be recommending a new adventure film to fuel and indulge your wanderlust. Each new film will be added to this blog post! Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this post to stay up to date and check out our adventure reading recommendations as well!
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
An odd, awkward and hilarious movie documenting the world's toughest ultramarathon in, of all places, rural Tennessee. In the first 25 years of the Barkley Marathons, only ten people managed to complete the full 125 mile course.
Lazarus Lake is the (evil?) genius behind the race, which has an enigmatic entrance process, no set route, hidden books, and some of the oddest and most endearing rituals you can imagine.
The Dawn Wall
This movie is much more than just spectacular cinematography and heart-stopping footage. The Dawn Wall tells the emotional story of Tommy Caldwell's attempt to pioneer one of the most difficult big wall climbs of all time.
The film tells Tommy's story from being kidnapped by rebels in Kyrgyzstan while on a climbing trip with his girlfriend as a young man, to overcoming the loss of a finger (equivalent to a skier losing a leg) to his reflections on the struggle to balance a family life and parental responsibilities with his love for adventure and his status as one of the world's best rock climbers.
In chronicling one of the greatest feats in climbing history, this film also delves deep into the mind and heart of one of the world's greatest athletes.
World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji
The Eco-Challenge is a legendary adventure race (and reality television series) which first emerged in 1992. In each eco-challenge teams race hundreds of kilometers, often through untracked wilderness and unforgiving weather, using a variety of disciplines including paddling, trekking, biking and rappelling. The clock starts on the morning of day 1 and keeps going, with each team determining how much to sleep or not sleep and how far to push themselves.
In 2019 the eco-challenge resurfaced, after a 17 year hiatus, with 66 teams from around the world competing in a week-long race through the jungles, oceans and mountains of Fiji. The race was closely documented and is featured in a 10 episode special series that aired August 14, 2020.
The show highlights both the human relationships within the teams, from a former elite racer who has developed alzheimer's and continues to race with his son, to teams of injured veterans and old friends, as well as the gruelling nature of the race itself.
It's hard to know what is more gripping about Meru, the spectacular footage or the intensely moving psychological story.
Meru documents the attempt of three of the world's top alpine climbers to make the world's first ascent to an obscure Himalayan peak called Meru. The film shows the trio's multiple attempts to summit the impossible peak, weathering 20 below zero storms while hanging off the side of a cliff, and working through a nearly life-ending accident of one of the climbers in between attempts.
Throughout the documentary we are privy to brutally honest reflections by the three athletes on the decisions they make, the dangers they put themselves in through and their struggles with the impact of their decisions on the lives and safety of their families.
This award winning documentary takes us underwater to explore the beautiful and mysterious world of coral reefs. Supported by spectacular underwater cinematography, the film follows a team of divers, photographers and scientists who undertake a global adventure to document and understand a growing phenomenon known as "coral bleaching" whereby vast swarths of coral reef fade to a ghostly white and become devoid of life.