Thursday, December 1, 2011


So I bought "A Fine Line" the other day. I'd watched it at Nic's and liked it enough to download a copy too. It's a good flick and I can honestly say it's one of the better climbing videos I've seen.

That said, it still left me without something. Don't get me wrong, the cinematography was amazing and the composition of many of the shots was absolutely beautiful. On top of that, my expectations may have been a bit bloated because it's received an incredible amount of press for being a step better than anything else out there, past or present.

At its core though, it's still just a climbing video. It still follows that same script that we all know. Boy finds a friend. Friends climb very hard. Friends go on trip. Friends climb very hard on trip. Friends get homesick and come back home. Friends find new area. Chick climbs for a bit. Friends climb amazing looking, perfect line. Roll credits.

How they ended the movie was PERFECT. Beyond perfect, really. Peter Beal was great and was a perfect voice to lay over everything else. Jimmy and Brion came across on video wonderfully and I absolutely loved the scenery and setting shots.

What I did like about it was that it was more than just another video. There were set shots that were perfectly composed. All of the textures in the film came out amazingly and I really enjoyed the extra clips that made it stand out among its peers.

More than anything, it has "re-watch" value.

At its core though, climbing is years behind other sports in terms of the quality of our videos/movies/films.

I don't like skiing. I don't like to watch it. I don't like to do it. It's just always seemed clunky to me and I haven't been on ski's in 15 years. I've gravitated towards snowboarding ever since I tried it years ago and it's always seemed more "fluid". More natural. I enjoy watching and doing it more than I ever enjoyed skiing Personal preference.

This morning though, Huston posted an absolutely amazing clip from a ski film called All.I.Can.

Words won't come close to giving it the justice it deserves so I won't speak to the clip too much. Click the little HD button. Let it load. Watch it on full screen. In my eyes the Ueli segment from the Eiger is the only thing that even comes remotely close to this in terms of quality, and that one is a long ways off from this.

I hope climbing can produce this type of quality at some point in the future.


JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.


  1. Watch "The Art of Flight"...OMG! I don't like snowboarding movies, but this blew me away!

  2. Sick. I'll have to check it out Jon. I can't even count the number of times I've watched this clip. It's kind of staggering and each time I do, I see something new.

    Find JP at 42 and 44 seconds. These guys did such an incredible job. So blown away.

  3. Watch anything by matchstick productions, my favorite is Push : )

    But I completely agree after growing up watching ski movies, climbing really needs to step it up. The addition of reel rock tours has really helped out. But we've still go a long way to go : )


    PS I want to go skiing so bad right now! That video was AWESOME!

  4. Totally just bought All I can : ) Its an environmental movie about skiing AWESOME!


  5. Thanks, Steve! Stunning visuals and effects. My students are analyzing film, particularly features of a film that has something to say or teach. This is on my list to show them.

  6. i would like to state for the record i tihnk most climbers arent into artsy stuff..i thought that ski video was boring as all hell..if i wanna watch climbing i just want to see climbing.. a fine line was a prime example of something that would put me to sleep but to each their own..the talent and dedication to such an artsy clip like that is def all there and props are to be given but idk not my thing

  7. Anon: I think it's somewhat foolhearty to assert that "most climbers arent into artsy stuff" [sic] purely because such "stuff" is "not [your] thing." Assuming that the production of climbing films is at least somewhat market driven, I think that the general trend away from closeup crimp porn and toward single camera angles capturing the entire environment shows that climbers are interested in "artsy" stuff.

    Admittedly, this video goes far beyond even the "artsiest" of climbing videos ("A Fine Line," "Between the Trees," etcetera) in that the clip is no longer about the skier, or even the skier in the environment; instead, it is about the way the videographer sees the skier. It is less about skiing and more about artistic vision. Whether or not a video like this one but featuring climbing could be produced is to be determined - as an activity, climbing (and climbers) may be too focused on getting from point a to point b to appreciate such a montage of movements taken out of the context provided by the rest of a boulder problem or route.
    My 2c.

  8. What he said.