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2nd Annual 5Point Film Festival at ASCEND Pittsburgh

Days Up High

A 5Point Film Festival Retrospective, written by ASCEND's one and only, Luke Alpert.

“As best you can, clear your mind of the chatter.”

You don’t often get a quiet ASCEND. Even at 6:15 on a Wednesday morning, there is bustle. Minutes before closing, quick-draws rattle as the last laps get put up before the day is done. It’s early April, climbing season is upon us. After a long grey Pittsburgh winter, we all want to be ready.

Quiet is what we got this Saturday night, gazing up at the screen, the faint glow of the front desk lights humming behind us like our subconscious, watching the 5Point Adventure Film Festival as a community. For a little while the walls, the holds, the dreams got to rest as we shared in the stories of 5Points.

If there’s one thing that every one of the bounty of adventure films of 2018 has taught us it's that every triumph masks an epic battle and there are times of devastation and doubt that cloud the dreams that brought you to every crossroads and lead you on. Just ask Paul, Aaron, and Alex about the hours they put in before a single hold was bolted to the wall or the years before that spent climbing, the image of a gym like ASCEND slowly percolating.

5Point Film Festival brought to us a diverse array of adventures, some grand, and some quiet, slow, and humble. The films honed in on stories of people like us who are, more often than not, dealing with life’s little challenges. The granular little doubts or overwhelming sense of the odds ever being against us that turn our triumphs, big and small, into fully realized stories.

“Come Together, Return Changed” is an appropriate tag line for the 5Point Film Festival. The world is a terrifying place. Even looking down the ladder from the top of the top-out boulder can be daunting.  It’s easy to forget, awash in the glow of an adventure, that even the most banal of details, the things that so often get taken for granted in life, are where our stories take root: where we are born, the pursuit of a family, our gender, our health, our sense of ourselves in our bodies.

The 5Point Adventure FIlm Festival showed us that adventure awaits in the rivers of Greenland, on a snowy slope over a glacier, and on a run around the block in Dublin. It showed us that adventure is not always the glorious, instagram-worthy photo op we can be tricked into believing in: adventure is hard and it is every day and lots of it makes for stories that are far from glorious but are, fundamentally, true.

--- end blog update on 4/22/19 ---


Didn't get a chance to check out Banff or just can't get enough outdoor films? Come party with ASCEND and 3 Rivers Outdoor Company on Saturday, April 13th for the 5 Point Film Festival! 

Price: $5 members | $10 non-members


Details: Starting at 5p, you'll be able to enjoy food from Pita My Shawarma, beer and NA beverages from East End Brewing, and fun while hanging out with the Steel City Slackers! Prior to the show, you are encouraged to climb and mingle while enjoying the festival atmosphere. Remember, you can only start drinking once you stop recreating.

Climbing and mingling from 5p-8p and raffle, announcements, and film screening to start promptly at 8p!

Raffle: Everyone will receive a raffle ticket upon entry, but you may purchase additional tickets to increase your chances to win and benefit some pretty rad local organizations! Raffle proceeds will be donated to the Bike MS Team - The Big El (join our team!), AND First Waves- a Pittsburgh region non-profit project that uses standup paddleboarding (SUP), the art of filmmaking, and digital media as a catalyst to inspire conservation of local waterways and mentorship for at-risk youth.

Bonus: Love beer and supporting climbing in our area? Buy an SWPACC Silipint (we have glow in the dark ones!) and get your first beer free! Additionally, East End is graciously donating $1 per beer to The Big El and First Waves, so bottoms up, responsibly of course!

Check out the trailer!   Check out the film line up!