/ NEW REVIEW: Odyssey By Hot Aches

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James Pearson, 3 kbThe latest film from Hot Aches is a celebration of trad climbing. The 1 hour 5 minutes film races by as climbers James Pearson, Hazel Findlay, Hansjörg Auer (Austria) and Caroline Ciavaldini (France) drive the film with great action and narratives.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=5042
Luke90 on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
> the beautiful section at Nesscliffe where [...] James on-sights My Piano E8 and A thousand setting suns' E9

Did James onsight an E9?! Or was it an onsight of My Piano and then a practiced ascent of the E9? I'm guessing it was the latter.
CragRat11 - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Luke90: No, it was an onsight of My Piano and a head point of A Thousand Setting Suns
Hock - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Luke90: I might be wrong but i thought My Piano had come down too E7? Not that it matters still a fine Flash from James. Still need to watch the film, Dom's a top bloke.
Mutl3y - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to CragRat11: they said it was an onsight. But it def wasn't "an onsight without the holds being well chalked up". Fair play to him but what would it count as if someone was to have done it without all the clues to the sequence?
AJM - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Mutl3y:

> they said it was an onsight. But it def wasn't "an onsight without the holds being well chalked up". Fair play to him but what would it count as if someone was to have done it without all the clues to the sequence?

An onsight. For better or worse chalk doesn't invalidate an onsight. You can claim a few more wad points for it but that's it.
Olli-C - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: I thought the film was 'almost' really good. The climbing was excellent and some of the shots were good too. A few things could have been improved; I think the interviews with James would have been better if he wasn't wearing those sunglasses, a lot can be learned through a facial expression. Similarly Hazel's hat covered her eyes a little too much for a professional interview. Secondly all the climbers said it was the history and mental challenges of British trad climbing that made the routes so special, however the history of the routes was not explained and to those who do not know about each route the routes seemed somewhat underplayed. If the sparseness of the gear on the Cad and the quality of the rock was shown more, this section would have seemed more impressive. Finally some of the audio balance was a little off and the music seemed to drown out the narrative.
Having just seen the reel rock film tour (which included wide boyz) the one thing that stood out was the lack of hype created about what was going on. Every film in real rock managed to hype up the action so the viewer could understand the significance of the action, this was the main thing that Odyssey seemed to lack.
shantaram - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: I thought it was a fantastic film. Made me proud of our trad climbing tradition. Well shot, good soundtrack and impressive climbing. Respect to Caroline Ciavaldini for her first foray into naturally protected routes. Thanks to Hot Aches for putting it online.
puppythedog on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Olli-C: I enjoyed the lack of hype, meant I could relate.
Jonny2vests - on 12 Nov 2012
In reply to Olli-C:

Couldn't disagree more. The understated nature of the film captures British trad well. If you want hype, watch some adverts or something.
nathanlee - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

Really enjoyed the film, some great footage. Also dont see how extra hype would've improved it to be honest.

The only gripe I had with it was the lack of adventure in the route choice, featuring Strawberries for as much time as they did and other already well documented routes like My Piano etc seemed a bit samey (even though the footage was superb.) Also if the trip was a real "Odyssey" through British Trad they might have visited some of the more interesting and esoteric areas of the UK, maybe The Mournes or Scottish crags like The Cobbler (Dalriada professionally filmed would have been impressive I imagine.) Overall though its a superb film, well worth buying.
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:

I thought Pearson spoke articulately and from his heart in the pieces to camera, as did they all in fact, but the implication of a unilateral belief in the whole UK trad ethic and its superiority is incorrect, it's only his opinion and not everyone in the UK would necessarily agree. From that point, and it's a very minor quibble, I thought it slightly myopic. There was one other thing which grated intensely on the ears, but I'd better not say.

Great climbing footage throughout and well done to Hot Aches for making it available for free for a period.
AJM - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to nathanlee:

I seem to recall they were very constrained by the weather at the time it was being filmed...?
Robert Durran - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> There was one other thing which grated intensely on the ears, but I'd better not say.

Oh go on!
auld al on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
> (In reply to Olli-C)
>
> Couldn't disagree more. The understated nature of the film captures British trad well. If you want hype, watch some adverts or something.

+1
auld al on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to shantaram:
> (In reply to UKC Gear) I thought it was a fantastic film. Made me proud of our trad climbing tradition. Well shot, good soundtrack and impressive climbing. Respect to Caroline Ciavaldini for her first foray into naturally protected routes. Thanks to Hot Aches for putting it online.

agree totally, well said
Wee Davie - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

I thought it was good.
Hansjorg Auer is very entertaining and impressed me most for his determination- especially on Mr Softy. He absolutely cruised Strawberries too.
One thing I'd like to see is more top- down angles on climbing films. I'm a bit bored of seeing side- on shots from distance. Some of the shots in this were from too far away IMO- the sequence of The Cad lost something from this.
I did enjoy it though.
EricH - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

Always nice to see 'under filmed' areas like Pembroke and Gogarth on camera, to be reminded how special and atmospheric they are. Overall though I thought this was too long and lacked something in the way of insight/wit - maybe the massive tour bus just jarred with the essence of UK trad as I know it. The stars of the show for me were Hansjorg and Caroline - beautiful technique and total respect for pushing themselves in a foreign arena.


wiwwim - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: Enjoyed it, thankyou! Can someone explain the use of twin rope technique in many of the routes (the clipping of both ropes through some quickdraws)? w
In reply to Fraser: I also thought that for any non-sport climbers it put over the idea that trad climbing is always dangerous when most of us rarely do trad routes that are particularly dangerous if you have a decent rack and have learnt how to use it. When Hazel climbs Tombola in the film you can see Red Square just to it's right. I've done that and you stick a rack of hexes, big nuts and friends in it. I've done sports routes that are more scary and where you're more likely to fall further.

And, go on, what annoyed you? Was it something silly like them say "Peaks" or similar?
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Fraser) I also thought that for any non-sport climbers it put over the idea that trad climbing is always dangerous when most of us rarely do trad routes that are particularly dangerous if you have a decent rack and have learnt how to use it.

I hadn't thought of that aspect tbh, but it's a fair point.

> And, go on, what annoyed you? Was it something silly like them say "Peaks" or similar?

No, it was more an 'oral quirk' than anything and is unavoidable. It just grated on me personally, so not a criticism of the film in any way.
mattrm - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Fraser:

> [...]
>
> No, it was more an 'oral quirk' than anything and is unavoidable. It just grated on me personally, so not a criticism of the film in any way.

I think I know what you mean. Didn't bother me as much as it seems to have bothered you however. Probably sounds much better in real life.

As for the film, I have to say, it wasn't amazing. It wasn't awful by any stretch, but it wasn't that great either. I really didn't think much of Nesscliff as a venue and the routes there looked dull. Chalk or not, E8 onsight and then an E9 (onsight? headpoint, it didn't say) is impressive. I do agree with the comments about the Cad. I'd never heard of it before and it looked awful as a route. Could have done with a couple of words about why it's such a big deal.

On the other side, the Pembroke section was great. Really enjoyed the section of Hansjorg climbing there. His opinion of Strawberries was quite amusing really. Initially he was quite lukewarm about it, but once he'd done it, he seemed a bit happier. Probably due to the way everyone seems to have hyped that route up. I reckon it's just a mental battle these days. It's got such a rep that you've got to battle that first.

I liked the lack of hype. I thought the mix of climbers was great and they were all interesting to listen to. It was nice to see them all taking big falls on routes. Especially Hazel!

However I'm quite glad it was free, think if I'd paid climbing film prices for that I'd've been mildly unimpressed. I will probably buy it eventually as I'm a sad collector like that.





Robert Durran - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> No, it was more an 'oral quirk' than anything.

Now I'm even more intrigued.
A silly foreign accent perhaps?
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Nah, I like foreign accents. I'll tell you next time at Ratho. Maybe.... ;)
Jubjab - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Robert Durran: I bet he meant the VENGA! -shouting you could hear at times. That's what you'd expect at Siurana, not Pembroke, especially as none of the climbers even were spanish.
Robert Durran - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Jubjab:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) I bet he meant the VENGA! -shouting you could hear at times.

Oh god that is irritating - not watched it yet and now might not!
Jonny2vests - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to mattrm:
> (In reply to Fraser)
>
> [...]
> I really didn't think much of Nesscliff as a venue and the routes there looked dull.

Then you should go. It is a decidedly impressive piece of rock.
biscuit - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Jubjab:

Yes it's just not on is it.

Imagine encouraging someone on in a different language.

As they represented 3 nationalities between them maybe they are a bit more multi lingual than us.
royal - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
That was a great film. Low key compared to a lot of the hardcore mega grade, mega (sport) route vids that have been out recently but a really good trad vid. I was on the edge watching some of the harder routes and its made me want to get out on the rock for sure. I guess it could have been a bit more cutting edge if it was filmed over a longer period of time but I still really enjoyed the footage of the lower grade routes.

Definately worth a download as it's only £8.99, price of a few beers at the end of the day! It's not so often you get a vid that really shows what trad climbing is about and it should be supported.
Fraser on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to Jubjab:
> (In reply to Robert Durran) I bet he meant the VENGA!

Sorry, you lose. Doesn't bother me at all. ;)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Olli-C - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests: The 'hype' is the chat that makes the climbing seem significant, these ascents only seemed signifactnt because as British trad climbers we know about these routes but to a non British trad climber these could just be any old routes. The hype is what makes gives a film the ability to make me want to go out and climb, this film was good to watch but it didnt give me the feeling of 'wanting to go climbing' more than any climbing video on youtube.
jezb1 - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: It was really cool of Hot Aches to stream it for free, I think I own all their other films but this one didn't excite.

Some good bits and I can't really put my finger on what it was I didn't like but I got a bit bored.
Adam Moroz - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

Enjoyable to a point, had some really good bits, pembroke and nesscliffe and some quite dull bits, strawberries and northumberland section. Good to see Pearson climbing hard trad again and i liked his honesty in the interview sections.
Skyfall - on 13 Nov 2012
A little surprised at some of the quite negative comments. I've only watched about 2/3rds of it but I really enjoyed the flow, the pacing, humour, surprisingly enjoyed the interviews (James comes across as disarmingly honest about his personal 'journey'), some great climbing etc. I also enjoyed watching climbers with very different backgrounds tackling some great, hard, trad routes.

I agree it could do with a little more background on the specific routes - in particular the cad. However, I can understand why the route information is minimal and, to be honest, I found it refreshing that it's not quite so goal focussed ie. on specific routes. It feels more like just going climing (with a big yellow bus!).

I'm surprised this is being effectively givwn away for free for a limited period. I might buy it but then again I might not. I assume they got some sponsorship which means that's a viable approach.
Nath93 - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: Didn't particularly like the film that much, thought it was kinda repetitive. Maybe just me but I found watching people climb very similar routes over and over got a bit boring. Thought Hans was the best to watch out of all of them ! I wouldn't buy it for a second watch after seeing it online anyway.
James Oswald - on 13 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
I enjoyed it, very well filmed and great to watch some climbers whose climbing just really flows, especially on trad.
MONKEY78 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
I thought this was a great film - really enjoyed it. The thing I enjoyed most was watching the transformation of Caroline C from sports climber to 'crazy' trad climber during the course of the trip - very impressive. Watching her trying to place the cam on that E8 was terrifying - reminding me completely of my pal sport-climbing Rob's trips up to the peak years ago to headpoint some of the routes I'd been trying to ground up for ages. Another thing I took from the film, which might help my own climbing, was how they moved on these routes. Absolutely no hesitation - just driving on upwards. The only dissapointing thing to hear voiced was the usual "the Lakes is wet so we don't climb there often mentality", although redeemed slightly by the statement about the quality of the E6 on Pavey.
mattrm - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to jezb1:
> (In reply to UKC Gear) It was really cool of Hot Aches to stream it for free, I think I own all their other films but this one didn't excite.
>
> Some good bits and I can't really put my finger on what it was I didn't like but I got a bit bored.

Glad it's not just me then.

jonny2vests:

Fair enough. I'll put it on the list.


GuyVG - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

It's very hard to film trad and make it interesting/engaging, I think they did a brilliant job. I agree about Pearsons honesty coming through in the interview, particulary the point he made about being in a place where he's proud of his climbing again.

The pure joy of Hansjörg at the top of Strawberries was the highlight for me, that and tenancity of Caroline Ciavaldini throughout. If this didnt make you want to get out and climb I can only assume you streamed it and watched it while sat on facebook or looking at this forum. Out of interest, what more did you want?

I will be buying this and I hope you do too. They make great films and need the funding to continue.
Gambit - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to wiwwim: Agreed, it was very enjoyable and wondered about the twin ropes myself, anyone?
dr_botnik - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Gambit:

I'd make an uneducated guess that the rock was sharp and they didnt want to cut it? particularly if expecting to take long falls with the rope running over edges....

As a bonus, it would probably mean that you were safer when clipping, only pulling one to clip, although this probably doesn't factor much when you look at the run outs they were facing in the film... impressive stuff.
DanielJ - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Gambit: Was it twin ropes or where they just using clipping two half ropes in one crab? I´ll guess the latter cause on most climbs they used both techniques.
I was under the impression that mixing techniques on a climb with half ropes was maybe not so good but using twin ropes single strand is much worse.

In France twin ropes seem common, as well as clipping at least the first piece with both strands when climbing with half ropes. This makes it easier for the belayer to hold a hard fall.

Beside the rather ugly footage from the Cad I thought the film was good. Esp. the girls and Hans was nice to see, so different styles.
SGD - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: First of all I'd like to thank Hot Aches for allowing us to stream this video for free, it has certainly encouraged me to buy the actual film. On the whole I thought it was pretty damn good. I particualrly liked the on-sight ethic that was carried throughout the film and the fact they visited some venues that are not constantly appearing in climbing films. I also echo many of the other posters views about the honesty and enthusiasm conveyed in the interviews.

Top job :)
Robert Durran - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Nah, I like foreign accents. I'll tell you next time at Ratho.

I watched it and see what you mean. It's not that bad though! A very good film in parts.
NIGBEE on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

Very pleased now that I "did my bit to help" James with his climbing career in that car park in Matlock one dark evening about 6 years ago

Cant say any more on here
James Oswald - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to GuyVG:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)

I agree about Pearsons honesty coming through in the interview, particulary the point he made about being in a place where he's proud of his climbing again.


I agree, I like James Pearson more and more the more I see videos of him.
Ciderslider - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to jezb1: Really Jez ?? Even the footage of Comes the dervish ??
Ciderslider - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: I really enjoyed this dvd - hardcore trad porn - well done hot aches !
The only mildly annoying (maybe humorous ) thing was Hazel calling up "Effort" - is that a yoofism for good effort ??
And Hans is my hero

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