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Local filmmaker debuts epic Okanagan ice climbing film

The Okanagan is well known as a four-season playground.

For every snowboarder chasing an epic snowfall, there is a paddle boarder chasing an equally stunning summer day.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed.

It’s this thrill of the chase that motivates a small group of Okanagan climbers to find the rare opportunity to climb ice.

“I’ve created an ice climbing film titled Ephemera, which means something significant that doesn't last long and I used ice climbing as the metaphor for that title,” explained Penticton based filmmaker Dave Mai.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed.

“Ice climbing in the Okanagan is pretty obscure, it takes a certain kind of person to want to go and discover the right spot to climb.”

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed.

The film features local climbers tackling remote ice features all over the Okanagan Valley.

“Ice climbers have to be determined, having to trudge that much gear into an obscure location. We used sleds and snowshoes to travel through thigh-high snow, with the rigging, climbing, camera gear,” said Mai.

“You also really have to have trust in each other in case anything happens out there, it can be a long way to a hospital.”

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed.

Rock climbing occurs on rock walls that have been well mapped out and properly set up by previous climbers over years of climbing activity.

A major difference with ice climbing is that the medium is always changing, which means an ice wall will change year by year, or even day by day.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed.

To ascend the walls, climbers insert a series of clips with bolts and screws that serve as fall protection to catch the climber if they happen to slip.

“The first rule of ice climbing is don't fall,” jokes Mai. “While rock is constant, an ice wall is never the same, which makes the experience uniquely dangerous and rewarding.”

Ephemera made its debut at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival to rave reviews this past weekend.

<who> Photo Credit: Facebook.

The film features spoken work narration by Shayne Kozyan and original music by Sam Welsh who are Penticton locals along with Mai.

Watch the trailer for Ephemera below.

Ephemera - Trailer from Dave Mai on Vimeo.

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