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    Justin Clifton’s 5Point of View - Catch the Film Festival April 26-29 in Carbondale

    by James Edward Mills


    The 5Point Film Festival has a new executive director. Justin Clifton spent six years on staff with the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride. Last summer he came over to the Roaring Fork Valley where he’s applying his expertise and vision to guide an exceptional adventure media event in Carbondale, Colorado. In advance of this four-day mountain movie menagerie, set to start on April 26th, Clifton shared a few thoughts on his new role and what we can look forward to on the cinema scene in 2012. [Photo: Ben Knight]

    James/Joy Trip Project (JTP): You spent a lot of time working over at Mountain Film. In your opinion, how does that festival compare to 5Point?

    Clifton: The way that I’ve been explaining it succinctly has been that Mountain Film is very much a festival that is activism on the back end. It’s a festival that really is doing a wonderful job of highlighting the problems in the world and talking about things that people need to care about. It truly is an activist film festival. 5Point is not an activist film festival, but it is on the front end of activism. It’s more about connecting people to the wilderness, the outdoors and these places that they’re going to fight (for) and protect for the rest of their lives. That’s the biggest difference that I see. Mountain Film has gone pretty far away from just programming for the adventure community or the outdoor market. They’re kind of spreading their wings a bit more. 5Point to me is fairly rooted in providing a place where that community comes together in a meaningful way.

    Continue reading "Justin Clifton’s 5Point of View - Catch the Film Festival April 26-29 in Carbondale" »

    "Unexpected" from Patagonia Books Wins Prestigious Banff Award

    Banff award and book

    We’re honored to report that The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival has awarded Unexpected: Thirty Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography its “Best Book – Mountain Image” award for 2011. Unusual for a business enterprise, Patagonia’s catalog devotes half its space to editorial content — environmental and sport essays and extraordinary photographs of wild places and active pursuits. Jane Sievert and Jennifer Ridgeway, Patagonia’s current and founding photo editor, respectively, have been calling, and culling, the shots for three decades. Unexpected is their compendium of most compelling photos the company has published, and a celebration of wilderness and outdoor-sport photography as an art and a practice. On behalf of the company, Jane, Jennifer and designer Annette Scheid accepted the award in Banff on November 3.

    Make the jump for more on the book from the Banff judges and to hear an interview with Bernadette McDonald whose book, Freedom Climbers, won the Grand Prize.

    Continue reading ""Unexpected" from Patagonia Books Wins Prestigious Banff Award " »

    Joy Trip Podcast: Shelton Johnson Speaks to the Conservation Alliance about "Diversity and Wilderness"

    Shelton-Johnson2James Mills, host of The Joy Trip Project, brings us a very special podcast today from the recently held, biannual meeting of the Conservation Alliance, of which Patagonia is a founding member. Here's James:

    For those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors it’s hard to believe that there are many of those who don’t. Especially when it comes to our national parks there is an entire segment of the United States population, natural born citizens who seldom if ever visit. This is particularly true among people of color. African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities spend far less time in nature than their white counterparts. And in a shifting demographic where minorities will soon become the majority there’s rising concern throughout the conservation movement that one day in the not so distant future most U.S. citizens will have no personal relationship with or affinity for the natural world.

    This concern is expressed most eloquently by National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. The only permanent African-American ranger at Yosemite National Park, his mission is to share with audiences, black and white, lessons of stewardship that illustrate the bond with nature that is every U.S. citizen’s birth rite. An interpretive ranger that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who projected Yosemite at the turn of last century, Johnson puts into context the importance of wilderness not merely as a point of national pride but an intrinsic value of what it means to be human.

    At the biannual meeting of the Conservation Alliance at the 2011 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City Utah, Shelton Johnson was the keynote speaker. Best known for his prominent role in the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks, America’s Best Idea,” he was also instrumental in bringing Yosemite Valley to the attention of leading black talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In a nationally televised visit to the park in 2010 Winfrey used her media clout to invite millions of minorities across the country to explore the great outdoors.

    In this unabridged audio recording Johnson is welcomed to the podium by Conservation Alliance executive director John Sterling. For 40 minutes Ranger Johnson inspired a rapt crowd with a message to encourage all people, regardless of race, to embrace the wonders of nature and to claim their inheritance of our national treasures.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Shelton Johnson - Diversity and Wilderness"
    (39:40 - right-click to download MP3. Music: Hot Buttered Rum)

    Our thanks go out to James Mills for recording this talk and sharing it with The Cleanest Line. You can keep up with James at The Joy Trip Project website, Facebook page, iTunes channel and Twitter feed.

    For more from Shelton Johnson, pick up his book Gloryland.

    [Update 8/16: edited title]

    Remembering the Buffalo Soldiers

    SheltonJohnson This morning, on the way to work, I heard a story on NPR about the power of activism and an important anniversary. Fifty years ago today, four African American college students challenged society by walking into a Greensboro Woolworth's, sitting down at the segregated lunch counter and refusing to leave until they were served – they did this every day for six months. That simple yet brave act spawned a movement that spread across the country and helped African Americans achieve the equality they always deserved.

    In honor of the Greensboro Four, we're pleased to share a story by James Mills, creator and host of The Joy Trip Project, about another group of African Americans who played a crucial role in American history. Known as the Buffalo Soldiers, they were the horsemen of the 9th and 10th divisions of the U.S. Calvary who actively patrolled the newly created Yellowstone, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and helped set the standard for today's National Park Service. As James puts it, "The Buffalo Soldiers were in effect among the world’s first park rangers."

    Listen to "The Buffalo Soldiers"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    The Joy Trip Project produces a regularly occurring podcast on topics related to outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. The podcast is distributed via Real Simple Syndication (RSS) and through audio programming websites such as iTunes and We're grateful to James Mills, To The Best of Our Knowledge and REI for bringing us today's story. You can also find James on Facebook and Twitter.

    [Yosemite Interpretive Ranger, Shelton Johnson. Photo via Joy Trip Project]

    The Earth Throne

    Earth_throne Fitz Cahall taps SNEWS Live podcaster James Mills on the shoulder for today's episode of The Dirtbag Diaries, which features Patagonia ambassador Timmy O'Neill and his brother Sean. From Fitz:

    What defines you? Is it your past? How you look? I doubt it. It’s the course we chart from dawn to dusk that makes us who we are. Seventeen years ago, Sean O’Neill – artist athlete and big brother to pro climber Timmy O’Neill – lost the use of his legs after jumping from a bridge into the Mississippi River. After the accident, Timmy dreamed about helping his older brother climb El Capitan. In 2005, the brothers decided it was time to act.

    Reporter and podcaster James Mills brings us a story about two brothers, one very big cliff face and a 17-year-old dream. Sometimes climbs don’t end with summits. They can extend on into our lives.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:
    Episode 18 – The Earth Throne (mp3)

    Like what you heard? The RSS feed, subscription link to iTunes, and contact information for future story ideas are all available at

    Paradox Sports provides inspiration, opportunities and adaptive equipment to the disabled community, empowering their pursuit of a life of excellence through human-powered outdoor sports. To learn more, visit

    For more from James Mills, visit SNEWS Live. James recently spoke with Patagonia ambassador Kitty Calhoun about great ice climbs being lost to climate change. Listen to that interview

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