Adventure Film Festival
Jonny Copp (1974 - 2009)
Jonny Copp was born into a life of adventure on March 28, 1974 in
Singapore. In June 2009, he was tragically killed by an avalanche while
attempting a new route on Mount Edgar in Sichuan Province, China.
Although is life was brief, his contributions to the world were
remarkable and touched the lives of all those who surrounded him.
When Jonny was an infant, the family traveled the
world together in a truck with a pop-up camper. After the family settled
in Fullerton, CA, Jonny could often be found with friends exploring the
desert around Joshua Tree National Park. It was there that he first
discovered the joy of rock climbing and spending time with friends
outdoors – climbing at first with an electrician’s harness and a nylon
tow rope from his dad’s garage. Over the years he sharpened his skills as
a climber and became one of the best in the world. He excelled in all types of
climbing and was known worldwide for his cutting edge first ascents the
steepest walls and mountains around the world, including an unheard of
trifecta in Pakistan’s Trango Valley with Mike Pennings and a first
ascent on Patagonia’s Poincenot with Dylan Taylor. Jonny inspired
people in so many ways beyond his climbing. His award-winning
photography, writing and film footage have been featured in magazines,
books and movies -- leaving the rest of us with rare impressions of life
on alpine walls.
Jonny founded the internationally-acclaimed Adventure Film Festival
in Boulder, CO, to provide a platform where adventure filmmakers could
share their work. It started in 2003 as a dream in the heart of the Himalayas.
In a tent during a storm, on a handful of scratch paper, Jonny Copp
sketched out the vision of a community based, mission oriented, outdoor
adventure film festival that tied indie film with art and activism.
He created the film festival by bringing together adventurers, artists,
filmmakers and activists who believed in the power of the story and the
narrative of adventure to change and challenge the world we live in.
Over the next 6 years the film festival grew and became and
international success with shows in Chile, France, and across the US.
This international Adventure Film team committed themselves to
mobilizing people through powerful art, adventure, activism,
inspiration and awareness of the world around us. Adventure Film was
rooted in the concept of “making your own legends,” thus empowering each
of us to create positive change in our world.
As the film festival grew, so did Jonny’s reputation
as a climber and supporter of adventure living. In addition to being
sponsored by several well-respected companies, he was chosen as an
Ambassador for Patagonia (the company), a distinction that carries with
it the responsibility for working with the company’s design department
to test, refine, and validate products in the harshest and most remote
locations in the world.
Jonny believed that the summit meant something, but that ascent style
was everything. He’s been the recipient of many grants to fund
explorations and pursued climbing in the same manner that he lived the
rest of his life—with vigor and passion. He was a hero and a cornerstone
in the climbing community, inspiring people daily. Jonny was known for
engaging with everyone he encountered—greeting all he knew with a ready
smile and a hug.
He dedicated his life to his loves: his family, his friends, and
the mountain peaks forever on the horizon, waiting to be explored. He
was the embodiment of the Golden Rule and was a larger than life legend
that will be deeply missed.