Saturday, September 15, 2012

ABYSS: A Review

The summer bouldering season this year has been a strange one. A lot of heat, wildfires, road construction in RMNP and people traveling has left a kind of void, with very few significant new lines or hard repeats. Matty Hong repeated Warrior Up, Toru Nakajima of Japan did some fast repeats at Lincoln, but really nothing super exciting.

That's what make LT11's new film, ABYSS, so refreshing. It's about the (re)discovery of a huge pile of boulders near the summit of Mount Evans and the simple joys of exploring and inventing new boulders. There's a bit of a conversation, which I was part of, about the ethics of "development" both in terms of the environment and the community of climbers. This dialogue is not too intrusive and is woven in nicely with lots of excellent landscape scenes, time-lapse that is actually interesting, and of course plenty of footage of climbing.

None of the lines, except maybe Death to Traitors and of course the spectacular 5.14 arete Doubloons, look that amazing by themselves but the ensemble adds up to a compelling collection of climbs and an interesting look into the mindset and personalities of first ascensionists. Maybe what is more even interesting is that Jon and Jordan have stepped up their game considerably in this film, maybe the first that is really ready for prime time. The concept is sustained throughout the length of the film and the photography is first-rate. The editing is tight and well-paced.

The 48 minute film is available Monday September 17  for online viewing or download free of charge at LT11. I highly recommend it!


Lars Ose said...

This is just a sidenote, but I thought the ascent of "Sandbar" was very good when you look at the aesthetics of the line and the movement!

Peter Beal said...

Thanks for the comment! Just my personal preference, but I think that the lines looked good but not amazing, especially compared to problems elsewhere in Colorado alpine areas such as Evans Area A, Lincoln, the Park etc. The setting is what is truly spectacular.