National Geographic announced the finalists for its 2012 Adventurers of the Year awards on Friday, and they include two Boulder locals: Cory Richards, the first American to complete a winter ascent of an 8,000 meter peak, and Nick Waggoner, whose South American ski epic made for one of the year's most compelling ski films.
Richards' February 2011 ascent of Pakistan's Gasherbrum II made a lot of headlines last week: Carbondale-based director Anson Fogel won the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival last weekend for his film Cold, a 19-minute documentary built from Richards' handheld video camera footage from the climb. Cold also won Best Action Film at the 2011 Adventure Film Festival in Boulder over the weekend. And in June the film won the Charlie Fowler prize for best climbing/mountaineering film at Mountainfilm in Telluride. For more on the film, check out the Show + Tell interview with Fogel.
Waggoner's film Solitaire, "about the dark place between failure and success," won Best Cinematography at the International Freeski Film Festival (IF3) in September, but it was the journey itself -- a skier's survey of Argentina, Peru, and Chilean Patagonia -- that caught National Geographic's notice. "Shooting the film required living and working out of tents in relentless rain and snow sometimes for weeks in a row, traversing broken glaciers just to see the peaks they would then climb and shoot, and flying paragliders from 17,000-foot mountains while filming," writes Fitz Cahall. "Each shot was earned by hiking thousands of feet in predawn darkness." For more on the adventure, check out the Show + Tell interview with Waggoner and Sweetgrass Productions producer Zac Ramras.
Other Adventurers of the Year 2012 finalists include "microadventurer" Alastair Humphreys, hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis, kayakers Jon Turk and Erik Boomer, street trials rider and YouTube sensation Danny MacAskill, snowboarder Travis Rice (check out the Show + Tell interview with Rice), surfer Carissa Moore, and Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, who launched a paraglider from the summit of Everest in May, setting a new world record. To vote, visit Adventure.NationalGeographic.com
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