PICTURED ABOVE: Michelle DeLaCastro, adventurer and professional photographer, scaling a wall of ice in Ouray, Colorado.

PICTURED ABOVE: Michelle DeLaCastro, adventurer and professional photographer, scaling a wall of ice in Ouray, Colorado.

On May 12th, 2019, “No Man’s Land Film Festival” will be showing at the Avalon theater in Downtown Grand Junction, Colorado. This is why we believe this event is important.

I was climbing along Unaweep Scenic Byway a number of months ago. It was not quite outdoor climbing season, but it had been a long winter and I was getting restless. I started scaling the wall. It did not take long before I realized how out of shape I had let myself become through the winter. I patted the wall down like a TSA officer at an airport security screening. After a few minutes of maneuvering, I made it up the rock and looked out over the valley. I breathed in the beauty of the snow falling over the desert brush. I pressed my hands against the cold rock and knew we were not created for office chairs and doing laundry. I descended the rock, packed my things and started driving home. I looked down at my hands on the steering wheel. They were bruised, cracked, and covered in chalk, the telltale sign of a good day.

That night I had dinner with my sister. At a break in the conversation she pointed to my hands and asked, “What happened?” I told her I had been climbing. She looked at me and said, “I could never do that.” I asked her, “Why not?” “Because I’m not strong like you, I’m a girl.”, she said. I was a little shocked “Some of the best rock climbers in the world are women, you know?” I replied. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” She responded when she realized I wasn’t going to let it go.

It breaks my heart that somewhere along the way something convinced my sister she could not rock climb because of her gender. I think a lot of women get trapped in this mindset. I think a lot of men perpetuate it.

No Man’s Land Film Festival (NMLFF) is an event built around breaking the mold and changing these mindsets. NMLFF celebrates women in pursuit of adventure. Born out of Carbondale, Colorado, the festival tours the world calling women into the outdoor industry and adventure sport community. Their films feature bold women climbing towers of rock, skiing down the powdered peaks, and punishing the roughest rivers. It preaches a new narrative of equality in the wild.

We are a community of adventure fanatics. The Grand Valley is a hub of outdoor opportunity, a Mecca of exploration, and a gateway into the radical. This is a community built on a passion for enjoying the outdoors, and as a community we need to open the door for both men and women to get cracked climber hands.

No Man’s Land Film Festival will begin with a panel interview followed by a screening of films that empower women to join the outdoor community and speak out for gender equality. Come to the Avalon Theater on May 12th, 2019 to take part in a conversation about how we can change the narrative of what can be done.

“Don’t ever accept anyone else’s preconceived limitations. If there’s something you want to do, there isn’t any reason you can’t do it.”
Amy Dodson- Marathon Runner


Ethan Lovelace