October 22, 1995 in Outdoors

Legend Of Rock-Climbing Gives Boost To Film Festival

By The Spokesman-Review

The 20th anniversary of the Banff Festival of Mountain Films is on track to set a record for ticket sales, thanks in part to the headlining appearance of rock-climbing champion Lynn Hill.

After dominating the Women’s World Cup rock climbing events in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Hill won recognition as the world’s premier female rock jock.

But the climbing community’s eyes really bulged in 1993 when she made an astonishing no-aid ascent of “The Nose” route on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, Calif. Hill, who once lived in California, resides in France. Her family lives in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Hill’s video and slide presentation on her climbing career already is sold out. The presentation is scheduled to open the Alberta festival on Nov. 3 at the Banff Centre. Organizers are planning television simulcasts of the event in adjacent theaters so more visitors can see it.

Also sold out is the Nov. 4 festival presentation by Heinrich Harrer, international climber, author and tutor to the Dalai Lama.

“This level of interest has been experienced only once before, in 1994, with guest speaker Sir Edmund Hillary,” said festival spokeswoman Becky Scott.

Tickets are still available for daytime screenings of festival films on outdoor pursuits as well as the “Best of 20 Years” film program. Information: (800) 298-1229.

Dave Ortmann, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional manager in Coeur d’Alene, retired recently after 32 years with the agency.

Ortmann began his career as a fisheries biologist and was the Panhandle’s regional fisheries manager from 1969 to 1973. Following several other assignments in Boise and Salmon, he returned to Coeur d’Alene as the regional manager in 1987.

Although steelhead fisheries are in a crisis throughout the Pacific Northwest, Ortmann recalled that some people were ready to give up on the fisheries during similar crises in the 1970s.

“We persisted,” he said, “and brought steelhead back to record proportions.”

Accomplishments under his supervision in the Panhandle include healthy elk herds, a recovering kokanee fishery in Lake Coeur d’Alene and the possibility of a breakthrough in water-level management that could boost kokanee in Lake Pend Oreille.

He emphasized that none of the improvements to wildlife could be accomplished without his field personnel.

“They know how to do it,” he said. “We just need to give them our support.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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