The traditional Swiss alporn is blown as part of the inaugural Golden Mountain Festival last year. The second edition of the festival will take place May 15-17.

Mountain Fest celebrates local adventurers

A year after a successful debut event, Tourism Golden is getting set to host its second annual Golden Mountain Festival.

A year after a successful debut event, Tourism Golden is getting set to host its second annual Golden Mountain Festival with this year’s theme being adventurers of yesterday and today.

Highlighting the weekend-long festival are a meet and greet with local ski mountaineers The Dogtooth Rangers, a presentation from world-renowned adventurer Will Gadd, and exclusive tours of the Grizzly Bear Refuge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

“One of the main objectives that we have is that we’re celebrating our history as an authentic mountain destination,” explained Joanne Sweeting, manager at Tourism Golden. “Part of that history is first the explorers that first came this way…and then the adventure part of it that came after that.

“The activities that we’re most famous for are adventures. They might be soft adventures and they might be hardcore adventures but they’re outdoor adventures.”

And there might be no bigger authority on adventure than Gadd, who is fresh off being named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. The Canmore resident made headlines earlier this year when he scaled a frozen Niagara Falls in January. He will deliver a multi-media presentation called “Mentors & Adventures” on the Saturday evening (May 16) of the three-day fest.

Those who would prefer a more personal talk with Gadd will also have a chance to participate in an informal climbing session earlier that day with he and his climbing partner Sarah Huineken at Dogtooth Climbing Gym.

“He participates in everything that is available in Golden so he’s a great example. He’s more hardcore than most but he’s a great shining example of the various activities that you can do,” Sweeting said.

Throughout the three days, festival goers will have the option of collecting “explorer stickers” from participating local businesses, with each honouring a famous explorer of the past. Collecting all four gets participants entry into a grand prize draw for prizes, which includes a top prize of a three night stay at Purcell Mountain Lodge, including helicopter transfer.

Sweeting has ramped up Tourism Golden’s marketing efforts for the festival this year, including a spot on Global TV in Calgary, and hopes to build on last year’s momentum. Eventually, she’d like the Golden Mountain Festival to be mentioned in the same breath as other popular events in the Canadian Rockies.

“In five or 10 years time I want the Golden Mountain Festival to be like the Banff Film Festival. People are planning for it without even seeing any marketing. They already know it’s a great event. It takes years to get to that stage but we’re well on our way with it, hopefully,” Sweeting said.

For a full schedule of festival events, log on to the festival’s website, goldenfest.ca.