Updated: Feb 20
My favourite films about women having an adventure outdoors.
I love watching adventure films with women as strong, knowledgeable, independent characters (who don't need rescuing) out in nature or in the wild. There aren't enough of them, however over the last few years this has began changing slowly, and long may it continue!
This is me, hiking in Scotland in Winter 2018.
1. Wild (2014)
A chronicle of one woman's one thousand one hundred mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, USA undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination Cheryl Strayed hikes on a trail of self-discovery alone. A film based on the autobiographical novel by Cheryl Strayed.
2. Tracks (2013)
Accompanied only by her faithful dog and four camels, an Australian woman satisfies her craving for solitude by leaving the city and embarking on a solo trip of 2000 miles across the desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Based on a true story.
3. This Mountain Life (2019)
Documentary- film. Martina Halik and her 60-year-old mother Tania attempt a bitterly cold 2300 km ski trek from Vancouver to Alaska through the treacherous Coast Mountains; a journey that has been completed only once before, and never by a female duo. Their adventure is interspersed with unheard stories of high-altitude human endurance and passion: a group of nuns inhabiting a mountain retreat to be closer to God, a photographer who is later buried in an avalanche, an impassioned alpinist, a focused snow artist, a couple who have been living off grid in the mountains for nearly 50 years. What is it that leads these adventurous people to sacrifice everything – comfort, family, personal safety – for a life in the mountains?
Winner of many prizes, including best film of 2019 at Banff Mountain Film Festival, where I saw it. Find out more at https://mountainlifefilm.com/about
4. Edie (2018)
British Film about an older woman, who in the aftermath of the death of her controlling husband, decides to fulfil a life-long dream. At eighty three years of age, Edie sets out to try and capture a little of the magic she had as a young girl by climbing a Scottish mountain. Against her daughters wishes, she heads to Scotland. The story is a tale of triumph over adversity as Edie embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, set against the stunning backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
As a lover of the Scottish mountains, I adored this one.
5. Losing Sight of Shore (2017)
Over nine months at sea, four women row over 8,000 miles from America to Australia. A story of friendship, survival, and the human spirit. As the tagline says, “Everyone has a Pacific to cross.”
I first came across this documentary when it was recommended by She-Explores. You can read more about their women in adventure films here.
6. Stumped ( 2018)
Documentary-film about Maureen Beck. An determined climber, born missing her lower left arm, but that hasn’t stopped her from going hard. She takes whippers on 5.12 and overcomes overhanging boulders.
"I don’t want to be known as just a one-armed climber, I just want to be a good climber. People say, ‘Look, a one-armed climber, now I have no excuses.’ I’m like, dude, you never had any excuses in the first place."
Reel Rock 12 (2018)
Starring Margo Hayes, the first woman to climb 5.15; Brad Gobright, an up-and-coming free soloist with a donut addiction; the return of Chris Sharma to the deep water soloing stage; and Maureen Beck (featured in Stumped above).
I hope you have enjoyed my suggestions, what are some of your favourite adventure films?
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