Next Thursday, June 4th, Scott Neel (the director) and I will be hosting the CA Premiere of Rocky Mountain Highball at the Rialto Theatre in Berkeley. This event is presented by Vertex Climbing Center, Marmot, and the Berkeley Marmot Mountain Works retailer. Tickets are $10 and available at the door.
“Rocky Mountain Highball” is a new climbing film that presents an in depth look into why some climbers push themselves to boulder at the vertical limit. The film documents the many facets of bouldering by interweaving numerous classic climbs in Colorado with interview footage from the leading figures of the climbing world.
Director/Filmmaker Scott Neel, and Yama Studio have brought in a huge cast of world renowned climbers, like Paul Robinson, Mark Wilford, Kevin Jorgeson, Lynn Hill, Daniel Woods, John Sherman, John Gill, Steve Mammen, and Jason Kehl. Having filmed more than 70 climbs with more than 35 athletes, this film proves to be an exciting journey through the world of highball bouldering.
The day after the competition, at B-PUMP2 (a gym outside Tokyo), we had a really fun "customer interaction" type day.
Basically, we got there around lunch time and set boulder problems for 3 hours around the gym. We set one section of the gym with all beginner climbs, one section with some intermediate climbs, and one section with harder ones. Then we (me and NoBu) spent 30 or 40 minutes in each section of the gym giving beta and having a good time with the members. After this, NoBu and I had an informal competition/session where we made up problems for each other and hucked HUGE dynos out of the main cave. Totally fun. It turns out, NoBu is one of the best dyno-ers in the country, so now I don't feel so bad for not sticking the final dyno...
On Monday and Tuesday, we got to get outside. What an amazing countryside. The forests outside of Tokyo are like none I have ever seen before. We went to Mizukai where I had the chance to repeat Jason Kehl's impeccable problem, Kumite.
I'm putting the video together of the days climbing outside, so check back soon for those.
Saturday was a sightseeing day around Tokyo with Naoji. I have been in a constant state of being lost since I arrived in Japan, despite seeing plenty of signs like this one. We began our day by going to the Asakusa shopping market tourist spot. It was quite overwhelming, with shops everywhere. It was cool to pick up some gifts to bring home however.
Everyone walks and/or takes public transportation in Tokyo. Everywhere you go as well, you will see these raised portions of the sidewalk. They are for the blind to navigate the city by. I don't know why it struck me so much, but I found it amazing how well integrated this system was in the city.
Next up was the Tokyo Tower. At 330 meters tall, it's the tallest tower in Tokyo. We cruised up to the highest spot we could to get a view of the city.
Last but certainly not least, we went to the Rikugien Garden. This is one of Tokyo's most beautiful, Japanese style landscape gardens. Built around 1700 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, Rikugien literally means "six poems garden" and reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems.
The central pond
This treat was a great way to end the day. A little green tea and a truffle.
Yesterday was the Five Ten Cup. What a day! I will post about it later however, as I am SPENT!
I made it! After 12.5 hours on a rather empty plane, I'm in Japan. I'll let the video tell the story, but I had a great dinner last night where I ate some Ebi, Tai, Squid and Octopus, all the for the first time. That's what coming to Japan is for, right? When else am I going to get to do this?
Whew... The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of airports, rental cars, slideshows, clinics, climbing and good times. Lets rewind three weeks. On April 26th, Rocky Mountain Highball had its World Premiere at the Boulder Theatre.
The AAC put on the whole event, including an amazing pre-party attended by legends such as John Sherman and Jim Holloway. It was an honor to hear their experiences with climbing, their perspectives on today's generation, their inspiration for climbing and what they've been up to since their hay day.
Jim Holloway, John Sherman, Steve Mammen, Andy Mann and Myself
Before we could get the show kicked off, I (on behalf of everyone) had to thank the AAC for supporting the film. It couldn't have happened without them. Big thanks.
The show was a few seats away from selling out and was extremely well received by everyone. Be sure to keep an eye for this film on DVD in the next month or so. On June 4th, I will be hosting a California Premiere of RMH at the Rialto Theatre in Berkeley, CA. If you are in the Bay Area, be sure to come check it out.
After Colorado, I went up to Central Washington University to give some clinics and a slideshow to the psyched climbing community there. Mike, Brian, Britt and Karlyn were great hosts. On Sunday, we made it out to Leavenworth. Can you say AMAZING?
Mike on "Ouchie"
Karlyn on the dicey "Slice of Pie"
Me on Sleeping Lady (?). Awesome problem over the river.
Brian sticking the crux on The Shield
I was super impressed with Leavenworth to say the least. As tempting as it was to drop everything and stay, I had to jet to Portland for another set of clinics and a slideshow. Everything went great and I got to meet some amazingly talented young climbers while doing a clinic at The Circuit. It's my bet that you will be hearing about Zan, Zach and Carlos in the future. Mark my words.
Now, I'm back home, but leaving for Japan tomorrow. More on this trip soon.