SHIFT is a festival in Jackson Hole that aims to encourage participants to rethink their natural environment. PHOTO: STEPS Screenshot

SHIFT is a festival in Jackson Hole that aims to encourage participants to rethink their natural environment. PHOTO: STEPS Screenshot

Last Saturday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a couple hundred skiers were SHIFTed—to consider the future of the natural environment they live and play in, how to repair it, and how to exist more sustainably in it.

SHIFT is an annual festival schemed up by writer, climber, and indie publisher Christian Beckwith, and paid for by the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board. The thrust of the festival is to “inspire communities to preserve the natural capital that is vital to their economic success.” The 2013 SHIFT Festival, held on Columbus Day weekend, October 11-13, featured three nights of programming that revolved around food, music, and film—and explored the intersection of conservation, nature, culture, and adventure.

The second night featured a series of films and presentation by athletes who have become stewards of the environments they explore and recreate in. POWDER is a founding partner of the festival and Features Editor and author Porter Fox kicked off the night with a multimedia presentation of DEEP: The Story of Skiing and The Future of Snow. The world premiere of STEPS: THE RIDE GREENER FILM screened next. STEPS follows geographer, snowboarder and Patagonia Ambassador Sten Smola and friends as they choose to pursue their passion for spectacular mountain lines in an ecologically sustainable way.

Chasing Water, a film by Pete McBride followed. The mini-documentary tracks the story of native Coloradan Pete McBride, who follows the Colorado River, source to sea, on a soul-searching, personal journey down the “American Nile.”

The engaging short film Return to the Tepuis documents Bruce Means, whose investigative work into a species of tiny toads takes him to the ancient and lost world of the South American Tepuis—a place he would not be able to reach without the assistance of National Geographic photographer Joe Riis and professional climber Mark Synnott.