Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Flight of the Imagination Presentation


In August 2011, National Geographic sponsored an elite team of climbers and base jumpers on an expedition to Bute Inlet to make a film about climbing the six thousand foot face of Mt Bute and wingsuit flying off the 9,200 ft summit. The film called “The Man Who Can Fly“ was aired on American TV back in March and was shown to the Canadian public for the first time on Quadra and Cortes Islands.

Climbing on Mt. Bute

Strathcona Wilderness Institute will be showing the film on Friday November 30th at the North Island College Theatre in Courtenay. SWI will be hosting the event as a fund-raiser to support their information and summer program work at the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at the entrance to Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Park.

The Wilderness Institute is particularly pleased to have local Mountaineer and author Rob Wood give an introduction to the 47 minute film. Rob was also part of this exciting expedition and will be pleased to answer questions at the end of the evening. The show begins at 7 pm. A donation of $10 is suggested. Doors open at 6:45 pm.

Although it is mainly about top ranking Yosemite climber, line walker, and base jumper Dean Potter pushing the exceedingly precarious and breath taking limits of the three extreme sports, the film also appeals to a wider audience by stretching the limits of human perception in what Potter himself refers to as a “flight of the imagination”. Also of particular interest to local BC west coasters is the way the dramatic setting of the film show-cases one of the World’s best kept secrets: the magnificent and rugged grandeur of the high peaks and glaciers that soar above the turquoise glacier-fed ocean at the heart and climax of the coast mountain wilderness- the head of Bute Inlet, Canada’s Grand Canyon but bigger and better.

Rob Wood says: “I always thought that one day the world will discover this place and climbers will come and line up to climb the big face on Mt Bute. It turned out that a keen young climber from Squamish, together with two buddies made a very fine first ascent of the whole face. When they heard through the grape vine that National Geographic and Dean Potter were looking for bigger and better faces to film climbing and wing suit base jumping, they suggested he come to Bute. As well as the four climbers, two of whom were also ’base jumpers’ , there were two directors one of whom was also a camera man, an extra camera man, a rigger, a sound man, myself and Dean Potter’s girl friend and his dog. I was lucky enough to have been invited along as a local guide and story teller”.

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