The crux (most difficult part) of our time in Joshua Tree was the weather. Specifically the wind. It is relentless. It drives the dust into all of your expensive camera gear, your food, chases your oatmeal all over the place…there is no letup and it complicates everything. The good thing about this sort of challenge is that it forces you to eliminate wasted movement, gear, time and pare down to the bare essentials. The simple act of living is hard work and living and climbing from one day to the next in itself is very rewarding.
This video is a series of timelapses and film clips that focus on our camp time–and the final evening that we packed up and headed out. What about the climbing? Oh. We did a good bit of that, but the focus of our filming was more concentrated in our camp time–night time shooting especially. Getting footage of the climbs proved to be a huge logistical challenge and our relative unfamiliarity with the terrain made it hard to climb as much as we all wanted to. We did get some good shots though…but since being in Las Vegas, we have been able to get much more footage along with more climbing because we have a bit more straight-forward approach since we are not living in the dirt!
Filming things is a learning process. It is a HUGE challenge. It is a TON of work–it limits the amount of actual climbing you can do. But it is super exciting because we are so “green” at it that we are constantly learning how to do it better! Right now I am working on balancing climbing the quantity and quality of routes with the element of telling the story through images and film.
In Joshua Tree we did climb a few routes that stand out in my mind–the very first one was a slabby 5.8 route called “Outward Bound Slab”…this was a vision quest, not a pleasure climb. 3 bolts in about 75 feet of climbing–the first one being a solid 35 ft off the deck…so I guess I can’t say that we wanted for excitement. We also got into an area called “Outer Mongolia” in the subsequent days and that turned out to be a bit less scary and contained some awesome routes. “Gandy” was a particularly entertaining 5.9 route up a free standing tower–because it is so far from the road, it sees very little traffic, so there was a bit of loose rock–but still a really fun route.
We are learning fast and are excited to return to Joshua Tree since there are still a few more particularly cool routes that we want to shoot, so hopefully we can make that happen soon–and this time with smaller packs. Carrying that much gear is just straight punishment. In our next video, you will get to see a bit more climbing–so stay tuned!