A few days before his disappearance while on expedition in China, climber and filmmaker Jonny Copp wrote a poem he called Border Country. Rich with vivid imagery of a headlong journey into an uncertain future the lyric may well have foreshadowed the tragic avalanche that claimed his life and those of friends Micah Dash and Wade Johnson.A new film of the same title produced by multi-media artist and fellow climber Jeremy Collins pays tribute to his fallen comrades in a style well suited to the way in which they lived their lives. Border Country draws upon the complete spectrum of audio/visual tools to excellent affect coupled with the skilled application of mountaineering technique. With Collins’ handcrafted illustrations and music by Brad Barr, Oriole Post and Rue Royale the film is a requiem that doesn’t memorialize so much as celebrate those who live to climb.
From the outset writer, mountain guide and now filmmaker Majka Burhardt admits she could have found a better place to climb. In her new movie “Waypoint Namibia” she went looking for an experience that goes beyond climbing for climbing’s sake. “I have a theory these days that you can make adventure additive,” says Burhardt as the film opens “You can go beyond pure physical adventure and get cultural understanding out of it.” Much of adventure over the last century has held a very tight focus on singular objectives. Summit bids to claim a first ascent of high mountain peaks most often take clear precedent over building relationships with the local population. Though on many expeditions adventurers limit their contact with native people to hiring cooks and porters Burhardt and her small team literally went out of their way to engage those they met and learn something about their civilization.