by Ronnie Charrier
We’d all rather go out and live the outdoors than watch someone else do it, but sometimes circumstances prevent us from getting outdoors. Whether it’s bad weather, injury, illness, or you’ve just decided that you need a weekend to relax, spend your time being inspired for your next adventure with these awesome outdoor documentaries. From impossible climbs deep in the Himalaya to sailing around the world with a teenager, these films take you to the ends of the world with the most compelling, accomplished adventurers out there. There are dozens of amazing outdoor films out there, and these ten are just scratching the surface. there’s nothing wrong with getting a little inspiration every now and then.
Short listed in the Academy Awards documentary category, this is the story of alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk on their quest/obsession to make the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. More than just a climbing movie, it’s a tale of perseverance, loyalty, mentorship, and survival.
Under An Arctic Sky
Come along as six intrepid surfers head to Iceland in search of waves unlike any they’ve seen before, while storms of epic proportions do their best to derail their surfing conquest. The crew endures a lot of cold bitterness, but it eventually pays off with some amazing shots of them surfing under the Northern Lights.
Ever dream of quitting your job and chilling in one of our nation's finest parks? Do it, or live vicariously through Valley Uprising. This documentary looks at the 50-year history of rock climbing in California's Yosemite Valley, from the golden age of early rock climbing and the rivalry between Royal Robbins and Warren Harding, to the Stone Masters of the 80s and the present-day Stone Monkeys. Sex, drugs, and some incredible rock climbing footage await.
National Parks Adventure
Originally shown in IMAX theaters around the country, this documentary features some truly breathtaking footage of America’s natural wonders. Come along as Robert Redford narrates the journey of three travelers who set out to explore some of the vast landscapes that are found in the parks. Those adventurous travelers include the likes of mountaineer and explorer Conrad Anker, climber and artist Rachel Pohl, and photographer and filmmaker Max Lowe.
Beyond The Edge
Shot on location in both New Zealand and Nepal, the film features amazing mountain landscapes and a compelling tale of the two men who made the first ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Their success made headlines across the planet, making them instant celebrates, and inspiring a generation of mountaineers that followed. This film tells that story through the use of archival footage, wonderful photographs, and well-staged reenactments. Beyond The Edge takes us back to an era when mountaineering was still a grand adventure into the unknown, and explorers were celebrated for their amazing accomplishments.
The Endless Summer
How can any list not include the 1966 classic The Endless Summer? If you haven’t seen it, or even if you have, it’s always worth the time to watch the journey of Mike Hynson and Robert August as they cross the globe searching for the perfect wave – from California over to the west coast of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and more. Mix that in with Bruce Brown’s hilariously old-school and at times spectacularly politically incorrect commentary and you’re sure to have a good time.
This film is a must-see whether you know who McConkey is or not. Tracing the fast and bright arc of McConkey’s life, the documentary is a touching tribute to the man who shaped modern freeskiing and personified the phrase “seize the day.”. From his troubled relationship with his father to his penchant for high-risk situations, McConkey is a raucous, passionate tribute to the man who launched a generation of skiers looking to push their boundaries.