Ozark Streams Film Festival

 

Friends of Ozark Riverways and Where’s Malko are excited to announce the very first Ozark Streams Film Festival! As the first film festival solely dedicated to honoring beautiful Ozark streams of Missouri, we hope you will join us at the historic Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis where we will celebrate the Current, Jacks Fork, and Eleven Point Rivers! Ozark Streams Film Festival will screen several short films (with guest commentary between films), followed by Q&A.

The festival will include films and presentaions from the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Department of Conservation, the National Park Service, Route 3 Films and More.

The film festival also has a film competition and the winning film will be chosen as the grand finale! We are looking for films that share a compelling story and capture the natural beauty of Missouri’s Ozark streams. Films should be no longer than 3 minutes and filmed only in Missouri. Films will be judged by 4 categories: Cinematography, Editing, Audio/Music, and Story-line. Please send a link to your original YouTube or Vimeo film to the following email address: OzarkStreamsFilms@gmail.com Deadline for entry is May 21, 2018!

Please note: Because many of our beautiful Ozark streams are protected and administered by State and Federal Agencies, it is important filmmakers follow all rules and regulations as they apply to filming on these rivers (e.g. US Forest Service, National Park Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, etc).

Get your tickets here https://www.landmarktheatres.com/st-louis/tivoli-theatre/private-screenings

#OzarkStreamsFilmFestival

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North Fork Fishing Report

By Thomas and Mark Malkowicz

Fly fishing has given us a whole new reason to explore new places in the Ozarks, such as the White River. It looks a lot like other large Ozark streams, but the White River also has a western feel about it. It can be much wider in spots, and has a bedrock bottom in places. We started in the upper part of the river at Twin Bridge, which is home to the native Bronzeback, also known as the smallmouth bass. Twelve miles downriver, past the massive Rainbow Spring, the White River turns into world-class trout water.

untitled (1 of 11)The inflatable BOTE boards did us well. Sliding off little waterfalls and down shoots was a blast. Literally standing on the water casting a fishing line can’t be beat.

IMG_1533 3.JPGSmallmouth bass on a top-water popper as night started to set in.

IMG_0018.jpgSpecial thanks to River of Life Farm for suppling the best map of the area.

untitled (3 of 11)A nice rainbow, caught not long after entering the blue ribbon trout water. 

IMG_9637Deciding on a campsite each night depended on whether we thought it was a good spot to fish. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that well at picking out campsites. 

IMG_9653Hopper-dropper seemed to be the fly combination of the weekend. Even with two slightly heavy flies, such as a hopper with a Pat’s rubber-leg dropper, the Woodard #4 Pinnacle rod casted well, while reacting delicately at the same time.  

Pat’s Rubber Legs.

untitled (7 of 11)Every time we found one brown trout in the red ribbon section, we always found a few more nearby. While the rainbows seemed dispersed, the browns seem to be somewhat stacked.

DCIM101GOPROGOPR3453.JPGWe have paddled past a lot of things over the years, but seeing evidence of the historic floods along the river is a good reminder of how unpredictable nature and flooding can be. It was crazy to see a new bridge being built alongside an old bridge that still lay twisted along the river. We asked the owner of Rainbow of Life Farm, an outfitter we met one day, if he had flood insurance to help rebuild his cabins. He looked at us and said, “This wasn’t supposed to happen …”

IMG_9642As far as Missouri Ozark streams go, the North Fork ranks as one of the best.

IMG_9663Keep them wet!

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We ended our weekend where the North Fork of the White River runs into Norfork Lake. Even with the signs of destruction caused by recent historic flooding, this river is top-notch, and we can’t wait to get back on it!

Baker From All Angles 

They say the most riveting climbing stories come from tragedies. I totally agree, but success does not take away the beauty or pride of a well-executed climb or backcountry trip.

In the summer of 2016, I traveled to the state of Washington to not only attempt my first unguided glaciated climb, but to also stay in a secluded fire tower with breathtaking views of Mount Baker. I climbed Baker with my good friend and favorite climbing partner Han. After a flawless ascent, I headed back down to town to meet up with an amazing photographer and one of my best friends Brad North to trek up the Park Butte Lookout tower. Everything went smoothly, and I managed to grab some great images along the way. Hope you enjoy.

 

The Coleman Deming Glacier Route
whitney edits (2 of 27)Our approach to Hogback to build camp.

whitney edits (1 of 27)Mount Baker.

whitney edits (5 of 27)Han settling in at camp.

whitney edits (4 of 27)The colorful Hogback camp at the base of the Coleman-Deming Glacier route.

whitney edits (3 of 27)The summit in the distance beyond  camp.

whitney edits (7 of 27)Gearing up for our 2 a.m. alpine start.

whitney edits (11 of 27)The Roman wall.

untitled (1 of 2)Looking down from the base of the Roman wall.

whitney edits (10 of 27)If you look closely, you can see a tiny row of climbers ascending behind us.

whitney edits (13 of 27)Crossing a platte toward the summit.

whitney edits (15 of 1)The summit of Mount Baker.

Climbing Baker unguided was a thrilling experience, and one that will stick with me for a long time.

Image 6-21-17 at 9.25 PM
Coleman-Deming Route

 
The Lookout

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After a successful summit, I took a day’s rest and then made my way to Park Butte Lookout for a night. The lookout tower is open for backcountry travelers with expansive views of Mount Baker.

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Brad and I walked up into the clouds as we approached the lookout, so with no view we took some time to read a few entries left by previous visitors.

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As the sun set the clouds broke. We set out to get some shots.

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Changing weather made for some breathtaking views.

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One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed.

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This lookout accommodates a small party on a first-come, first-served basis. We got an early start. That, combined with a little luck, landed us this perfect spot for the night.

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A clear night sky over Mount Baker.

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Morning views.

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Another angle of Mount Baker.

Image 6-21-17 at 9.28 PM
Route to Park Butte Lookout

Return of the Current

By Thomas and Mark Malkowicz

Akers Ferry.jpgOn April 30, 2017, two inches of water flooded the Aker’s Ferry Canoe Rental shop. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) and the surrounding communities were hit hard by this year’s historic flooding. Yet just a few weeks later, the outfitters were up and running; the park service had re-opened many of the access points on the upper Current River; and we were headed back to our favorite Ozark stream.

Continue reading “Return of the Current”

Paddling Across The Kitchen

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Paddleboarding has somewhat changed the way we approach backcountry travel. Growing up canoeing rivers, we could never get enough; our trips got longer, our boat got heavier and heavier. When we were not paddling, we were packing backpacks with ultralight gear and hiking deep into the wilderness to find seclusion and a sense of exploration. The boards bring it all together, there is a sense of freedom when traveling light with only the minimal gear needed.

Continue reading “Paddling Across The Kitchen”

SUP StL: Our Favorite Paddle Board Spots Around St. Louis

by Thomas & Mark Malkowicz

One of the things that drew us to stand-up paddle boarding was the fact that it was a new sport. Even before our boards arrived, we started researching places around St. Louis that would be interesting to paddle, and we noticed there wasn’t much information out there.

The most rewarding parts about our new hobby was that it gave us a reason to explore parts of our city that we had never been to, and look at familiar places in a new way.

Continue reading “SUP StL: Our Favorite Paddle Board Spots Around St. Louis”

Mount Whitney

By Mark Malkowicz

This is a story and video of how my girlfriend Rachel and I traveled across Death Valley from Las Vegas, Nevada to Lonepine, California with hopes of reaching the summit of Mount Whitney. Standing at 14,508 feet, Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Our plan was to take the standard route known as the Whitney Trail but having left the first week of June, the trail wasn’t yet clear of snow. The snowy conditions forced us up by way of “the chute”, a winter or spring variation of the route.

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The chute is a steep band of snow leading to the ridge that would eventually take us to the summit. In the early morning hours, the chute is icy, making it ideal for cramponing our way up. Later in the day however, the hot California sun warms it and the ice turns to a wet slush. Our plan was to get up while it was frozen and back down before it got too wet.

This was Rachel’s first climb but despite her lack of experience, she was strong all throughout the summit day, making her a killer climbing partner. Not sure if either of us would have made it without the other and I’m looking forward to getting back on a mountain with her someday.

Caye Caulker by Boat

By Thomas Malkowicz

Water Taxi

Full throttle across the Caribbean Sea, our destination was the small island of Caye Caulker. Every seat on the water taxi was full, and, from a small window, Belize City was disappearing behind the boat. My wife, JoLee, and I are in Central America, on a 21-mile trip north into waters that become incredibly clear and blue. Small green islands are stretched out all along the horizon. Compared to the heat of Belize City, the air became noticeably fresh and cool as we approached the island.

Blackbeard Island National Wildlife RefugeThe free Belize Illustrated map I was reading during this 45-minute voyage was filled with information that explained why this area is a destination for people from all over the globe. It states that, “Belize is a haven for abundant flora and fauna … Belize has the lowest population density in Central America … the climate is pretty much near perfect … and Belizeans make you feel as welcome and comfortable, like nowhere else.” Perfect!

The day before, while waiting in line at the airport a gentleman had advised us to skip Belize City and hop on another plane. He explained it would save us a lot of trouble if we just flew to Caye Caulker. But being on the water is why we came here, and it only seems proper to explore this tropical setting aboard a boat.

Belize 1.1.jpg

Continue reading “Caye Caulker by Boat”

Kicked out of the nest: The Alaskan Range

Alaska May, 2015

The bush plane equipped with skis flew directly into the clouds that congested the sky over North America’s greatest peaks. My stomach dropped every time the wings lost grip, dipping into the thin, turbulent air.  After the short flight from Talkeetna, Alaska, we touched down smoothly at Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp (aka Denali Base Camp).

I was not there to climb Denali, but to work on some advanced mountaineering skills and to explore the range near Base Camp. Continue reading “Kicked out of the nest: The Alaskan Range”