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The names of the problems are terribad… Poop Deck? really??
They were clearly naming the problems with a ship/pirate theme. Poop deck, though it sounds immature, is perfectly legit.
I am well aware of the historical realities of the poop deck but giving an amazing new area a pirate theme in the guidebook just irks me for some reason.
Not a James Cameron fan? 🙁
enjoyable little video!
nice mention in the video. 🙂
Oh my. I don’t remember climbing any boulders at 13,000′ this summer (except in my dreams) so I can only imagine in what way I was mentioned. I’ll have to end my 4.5 month ban on watching longer climbing movies to see I guess.
A close friend recently told me about a scary experience they had trad climbing in the Sierras, at the hulk. They were 1000 feet off the ground, at 12000 feet elevation, a 3 hour hike from the car with no cell reception, when a thunderstorm rolled in. They managed to bail, but the party above them was forced to wait out the lightning storm on top of the cliff, a tiny summit with no shelter. I wonder what this party would have to say about this whole “Alpine bouldering is sooooooo extreme” theme this movie flaunts. And I wonder what climbers going for alipine and big wall climbs in more remote regions of the world (patagonia, Canada, etc.. ) would have to say about the extremeness of bouldering in the Abyss.
My point is, these guys are climbing tallus in color cordinated tank tops a half hour from the car. Your physical feats of strength are impressive, I won’t argue that. But your flaunts of “danger” are just plain silly.
You know, you’re right. On NPR they were talking about the Civil War, pile of limbs, pits full of bodies, death everywhere.
Back then shit was real. These guys blow a top-out and break an ankle, start a civil war and 6 million kids get buried in farm fields across the country.
These guys are amateur. This is hilarious. You think this is extreme? Try bolting a route. Try multi-pitch. I can’t believe you are mentioning the time it takes to “brush” a boulder or worry about a landing. FA posers….
You’re an idiot.
They bolted that arete
I think you guys are overstating what they said in the video about the danger and work aspects. Of course there are more “extreme” things in life and other types of climbing that can be more work, but they were simply describing their experience as it relates to the sport of bouldering. Compared to 99% of bouldering areas out there the experience in alpine areas is not one you can take lightly. And I can’t say for sure since it’s never happened to me, but I imagine getting struck by lightning feels just as bad whether you’re 3 minutes or 3 hours from the car.
So your saying its all about relativity? Like, if I only gym climbed, I can post a video about my gym session where I tear a flapper, (just about the most extreme thing that can happen gym climbing) and be like “OH MY GAWD! MY GYM IS SO EXTREME. I LIKE TOTALLY TORE A FLAPPER!?!?!” and its OK because what happened is extreme in the context of my experience?
I think you’re making a much bigger deal about it than they did in the movie
Have you ever bouldered or sport climbed or trad climbed at 12-13,000 feet? Or have you just heard other people talk about it?
And like Narc points out (despite the film’s “America’s highest bouldering” tagline), the movie isn’t really about the extremity of the area’s location.
Gah, amazing video. I’m so impressed with how skillful these guys are getting at making climbing films.
This isn’t meant to be critical or anything, but is the amount of chalk they’re putting on the boulders normal? There’s that scene of Jon Glassberg lowering down the arete and chalking it the whole way…is that necessary/does it help? Thanks for insights.
Well, it sure would suck to slip and come flying off the top of that pretty damn tall looking boulder because you tried to grab part of the arete that hadn’t been cleaned and chalked.
Great video! I think it’s unreal, and I’m grateful it’s free. Well done LT11, keep up the good work.
Yeah great video. Love the use of Google Earth to give context and overall, super high production value. Amazing what you can do with off the shelf tools these days.
Not google earth actually. I used actual DEM data from USGS topo maps to create accurate 3d models of the terrain. We wouldn’t have been able to pull off what we did in the video with google earth. Tutorial coming soon!
moral of the story is:-plenty of rock to go around
-some american climbers are full of sh**
…. but seriously some of those grades :/ ?!
eh… didn’t really live up to the other LT11 videos in my mind. Some awesome effects for sure (come a long way since Colorado Glow) but nearly every problem looked awkward, contrived, or otherwise not very fun.
Sure, they put in a ton of effort to clean all of that stuff, and props to them for having fun and getting out there. But classics are classics for a reason, and maybe just a handful of those climbs actually looked worth seeking out.
Not trying to down on the LT11 guys or anything, just saying that in terms of quality boulder problems in their videos, I feel like Park Life, Swiss Account, and some of their other shorter vids have been better.
How can you tell if a problem is contrived by watching video of it?
The same way you can tell that Mitt Romney is a baffoon.
Emphasis on the word “looked,” in “every problem looked contrived.” If they aren’t contrived or awkward, great, but all I was saying was that I think the video didn’t do a good job of showing that.
Not to say I only touch the purest of lines, blah blah blah, it just doesn’t look like there are very many problems there that look all that great to climb on.
First off, I enjoyed The Abyss. But I believe that quite possibly THE most important thing that climbers should consider while bouldering in alpine areas was DRASTICALLY underrepresented in the film — human impact on alpine ecosystems.
The plants and soil above treeline are so delicate that if disturbed they are simply not able to recover. For plants, this is because their growing season is usually about six or so weeks out of the year when temperatures are high enough for photosynthesis and the ground is snow-free. For soils, it takes millennia for leaf litter and inorganic material to mix to form the thin layer of soil that covers the bedrock up there.
Historically, humans were not regular occupants of such areas. And if they were, they only came in VERY small numbers, making our impact quite low. Now however, we’re bouldering up there in large numbers due to guidebooks and the internet as ways to disseminate information about specific areas and problems.
So because of the delicate nature of areas above treeline, developing bouldering in alpine areas becomes a contentious issue not for the reason of keeping an area quiet so you and your friends can nab all of the FAs — the issue emphasized in The Abyss — but instead it raises the ethical question of whether we, as humans, want to live as invaders and destroyers, or as part of the ecosystem that we are completely dependent upon. This goes above and beyond the issue of reasoning for why or why not to avoid telling the climbing community about new areas and becomes an issue of respect for Nature and wildness.
These places simply cannot sustain DEVELOPED bouldering areas. Developed is capitalized here because I mean this to be areas — like Chaos Canyon — where there is a guide book and seemingly every piece of climbable rock has a problem with name and grade. Developed means widely accessible. Developed means catered to human use. Developed means that wildness has taken a back seat to the desires and intentions of humans. To my mind, “developed” is something that we could best do without — living undeveloped makes us stronger and better able to adapt. Broadly speaking “developed” creates a problem by restricting the processes of Nature to human ends with little or no regard for wider impacts — yet another example of why we are in the midst of an environmental crisis. My point is, then, that if we can go bouldering in alpine areas WITHOUT DEVELOPING them we can give wildness a chance.
What this means is that when in meadows we should have established trails and walk lightly — barefoot on sacred ground :-). The talus is another story because it undergoes drastic changes every year anyway due to avalanche and snowmelt so bouldering impact isn’t as much of an issue on talus. “Without developing” means that we should haul our feces out. It means that we should clean the BARE MINIMUM. It means that perhaps only a limited number of people should be granted access on a daily basis — I hate my own words With climbing increasing in popularity I feel it is the job of companies like Louder Than 11 to face these issues, and to challenge people to think ethically about their recreational impact.
If anyone is still reading my long-winded argument I would encourage them to read Gary Snyder’s book Practice of the Wild — I believe Chris Sharma, a contributor to The Abyss and spokesman for climbing — has. http://vimeo.com/2601379
I don’t really get your point. Stay on the trail until you get to the talus? Does that about cover it? Everyone should already be making an effort to leave as little trace as possible in these special areas. Definitely not an issue exclusive to alpine areas or this film. There was a disclaimer regarding leave no trace ethics at the beginning of the film, and I certainly don’t think they are obligated to do any more than that.
My point is that the more climbing becomes a commercialized endeavor and increases in popularity then climbing, particularly bouldering and sport climbing, has the potential to contribute to human impact that is causing the environmental crisis. In the film, withholding information about bouldering in secret areas was presented more as a social issue than an environmental one. I believe that keeping areas like Abyss — above treeline — not widely known ensures that hords of boulderers will stick to areas that are less susceptible to damage by human impact. Thus my argument for keeping quiet is not social, but ecological. LT11 emphasized the social aspect and did not give much regard to the ecological issues. The ecological issues, I believe, are a sound argument for considering carefully which alpine blocks we spray about all over the internet. Do you get my point now?
I can understand that point of view, but I don’t really think “keeping quiet” is a viable long term option for addressing the impact that climbers have on the areas they climb at. It might work as a stopgap measure for specific areas, but if you really want to prevent patterns of destructive behavior it would also be necessary to educate and establish good management plans.
so highest bouldering by elevation or by how baked everyone is?
That place looks other worldly. I see God pinching the side of that mountian with His forefinger and thumb creating that beautiful talus field. The music was enchanting and the inspiration is like a fire burning.
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