/ VIDEO: Gaia - New Media = New Rules?

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Following on from other recent video articles on UKC, we are now proud to publish an offering from SteepMedia.

Dave Gill from SteepMedia has provided us with an amazing video clip of Gaia, (E8 6c) at Black Rocks. Climber George Ullrich goes for the flash and gives it his best shot.

Dave also takes a quick look at how films have an affect on climbing. Do they spoil an onsight ascent?

Watch the Video: New Media = New Rules?

VIDEO: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1542
Hardonicus - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Great to see another angle, very up close and personal. Best thing too - more beta (not that I'll ever be needing it)...
nigel pearson - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
ouch. hope he is feeling better. brave attempt
Kyuzo on 19 Dec 2008

Holy shit that was scary. Really great clip.
catt on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

That's really good! I think that's the hardest and scariest looking clip I've seen of Gaia. It looks so blank up there.
Guy - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Hands are sweating.

TonyM - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Cool clip, but i'd sack the belayer on the side rope...
Niall Grimes - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Guy: Is the article suggesting that it is harder to flash gaia having watched some videos than to on-sight it?

I don't see how the term 'on-sight' can really apply to any of these commonly photographed / videoed / talked about routes. It just seems daft. It's a bity like the thing now about getting people to claim the first on-sight of hard routes before they can get a trad grade.

I spoke to Alex Honnold about doing Gaia, and you could tell that he felt he on-sighted it, in purely personal terms. You could tell he hadn't studied videos or anything, and his personal experience was that of an on sight. But there was no way he was going to say that in public, as it would have looked like a dfat thing to claim.

Now that the media wants something new, and now that 'On Sight' is a commodity, people will seek to create a box for it, and squeeze things into it. I've always though that climbing like that is a much more personal experience. Who's to say what on sight is, or not on sight, or video-hindered flash?

Ground up climbing is the hardestt kind, obviously. But it would be nice to keep it vague. It is what used to be called 'climbing'. It wasn't that you headpointed / flashed / on sighted something. You 'did' something (and I'm not talking about good old days, this is how most people climb today).

Good effort to George and Alex and JR all the same.



Alun - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Excellent clip. My palms were sweating!
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Watched on HD on a big screen - Ohhhhhh.... I'm gonna have nightmares now.

Great to see a different angle on it and very nicely put together. I'm glad George wears a helmet! Some one should buy the chap some body armour as well!
petellis - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I've never climbed a film that I've seen a film of before but personally I don't see how it can be that much help with the moves since when I watch somebody else climb a route and then do it myself (at the crag) the route always feels a lot different to how it looked.

Maybe obsessivly watching the films over and over again makes a difference but frankly if Honold only saw the film once a while back then I don't understand why it wasn't credited as an onsight.
petellis - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to TobyA:
> I'm glad George wears a helmet!

Aye, seconded. I've very suprised more of the top chaps don't wear them given how often they seem to end up upside down when they fall off. But prahaps the feeling that you don't need any of that stuff is part of what it takes to make you a top climber.

jas wood - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
absolutely awesome clip of george !
jas
shane54 - on 19 Dec 2008
Great clip, great attempt and great song....what was it?

Shane
Owen W-G - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Niall Grimes:

A betamax-flash then?
Niall Grimes - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Owen W-G: That's where the term 'beta' comes from, isn't it?
Silum - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

my hands are absolutely drenched in sweat! Awesome clip. Very refreshing to see a different more personal view of Gaia. I suppose it such an awesome looking line, people always just show it in its entirety but it actually looks just as impressive from above.
John Roberts (JR) - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Great video, brings it all back. Good effort George. 10 pints was my cure, I hope you did the same George.

Do videos spoil an onsight? Well I wouldn't have been disappointed had I flashed Gaia having seen Hard Grit, and I'm sure George wouldn't have been either.

Does it really matter? No. Let's go climbing and enjoy ourselves, in whichever style of lead you get most satisfaction from. If, like Pearson, you want to cover your eyes when EOTA comes on TV and then "onsight" it then so be it, if you want to headpoint it, so be it. I decide, I make the choices. That's why I like climbing.

And let's not forget people have always ground-upped, it's just talked about more now as a result of films like onsight and forums like UKC, it's nothing new!

Owen W-G - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I thought beta meant second-hand knowledge, as in alpha, beta..
Niall Grimes - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Owen W-G: Oh, i don't know. It's all Greek to me.
Ackbar - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to TonyM: Agreed, this is the second clip I've seen of this route (first is "a gritstone year"), where a second belayer appears to flip the climber upside down.
Silum - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Ackbar:

he flipped because of his main rope under his left leg
jazzyjackson on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

holy shit, lucky boy!
climbinggeorge123 - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to Ackbar: I decided to use a second rope, which would involve a second belayer anchored to the right. This in the case of a fall would hopefully stop me from penduluming into the arÍte. The problem was, I was concentrating so much on this rope and how it was wrapped round my right leg, I completely forgot about the first and most important rope, which when I fell was wrapped round my other leg which caused me to flip upside down.
Top tip - dont over complicate things
Ackbar - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to climbinggeorge123: Jesus, two ropes wrapped around your legs! sounds more like bungee jumping. Fair play. Good effort.

Rich
orge - on 19 Dec 2008
Great effort, George! Hope that didn't hurt too badly! :)

The consumed peak grit DVD also has footage from this angle, which really suits the route better - especially if the climber falls! ;)

Many thanks,

J
Michael Ryan - on 19 Dec 2008
In reply to shane54:
> Great clip, great attempt and great song....what was it?
>
> Shane

Sincerely, Jane by Janelle MonŠe

http://www.jmonae.com/





Janelle Monae

john howard 1 - on 19 Dec 2008
WOW!Brave effort George, and thanks to all involved for the clip, inspiring stuff
Hubert Cumberdale on 19 Dec 2008 - 88-104-252-117.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Wowee, what an INTENSE clip! i think the belayer deserves a big shout out for saving that laddo's arse!
Sersh on 19 Dec 2008 - 82-35-102-38.cable.ubr05.dals.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Awesome work. Love this clip!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Climber_Ad - on 20 Dec 2008
In reply to Sersh:

It seems a paradox has occurred.

On one hand the masses want to see videos of hard ascents at the top end of climbing, for whatever reasons, good viewing om DVD, proof of the route actually being climbed for those skeptical enough not to believe these ascents, for a historical document of the event, etc...

On the other hand, even by viewing a short segment of footage from a climbing film, there is no chance of claiming a route 'onsight'.

So i guess the question is, where's the middle road. With so many videos of hard routes flying round nowadays and the media becoming ever more involved, are top climbers to stop watching climbing films in the chance of keeping the onsight, should the climbing community as a whole get over the 'onsight' tradition and say that it's getting very very hard for climbers to claim a pure onsight of the few hard routes there are that (maybe) onsightable because of the media, or should we just climb for the sake of climbing, and try to stop the whole stigma attached to everything top end.

By the way, i really don't want to take anyhing away from the top end climbers with the talent and ability to try such routes such as Gaia flash/onsight in such a courageous style. I'd love to climb that hard, even if my head wouldn't!

Ad
SI A on 20 Dec 2008 - 77-102-252-52.cable.ubr03.hawk.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

oh god. if it feels onsight - its onsight. If youve spent ages watching the moves and dialing it in you know when you move to the actual ascent if its been affected by the beta youve gained.

that video, apart from being scary, is clearly onsight. the chap gets all out of shape on it and clearly doesnt have it dialed in.

balls the size of mars.

Incidently as the peak has such a high concentration of climbers do they talk themsleves out of pushing themselves? Does the peak hierarchy undult influence talent? the recent bashing the local routes have taken and the subsequant ascents seem to suggest this.
Niall Grimes - on 20 Dec 2008
I've always thought that the ability to gather useful beta was one of the skills of on sighting :-)
fimm on 20 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I hadn't spotted the rope and belayer to the right (as you look at the video) and there doesn't appear to be any protection on the rope on the left so when he got into problems my palms were sweating big time... then he came off and I saw the other rope. Glad he is OK.
Wrongfoot on 20 Dec 2008 - client-82-20-16-56.brhm.adsl.virgin.net
In reply to TonyM:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> Cool clip, but i'd sack the belayer on the side rope...

Quite.
Marc Elliott - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Wrongfoot:

Whether its onsight or not - good effort!

Doe's anyone know whos music is playing ?
Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Fish-rider:

Sincerely, Jane by Janelle MonŠe

http://www.jmonae.com/
mr mills - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Excellent footage ! One of the best I`ve seen, shows how hard this route is ! respect to everyone who has climbed it,(or attempted it), especially to Johnny (for having the vision)and Lisa Rands.
The Pylon King on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

As i said before:

A very good bit of footage totally ruined by a poor and distracting soundtrack. This seem to be very common in climbing videos.
pmot on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:

agreed, totally ill-fitting bit of music that destroys any tension that might have been created. bizarre choice

compare it to the simple thumping heartbeat on Hard Grit..
Luke90 on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:
I have to disagree, I really liked the soundtrack and thought it was well matched to the clip.

Fantastic film in general actually. I've never felt more terrified while watching a climbing video and I really enjoyed it.
Amazing effort by George and great capture by Dave.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to pmot:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
>
> agreed, totally ill-fitting bit of music that destroys any tension that might have been created. bizarre choice

Bizarre, yes. That was the strength of this particular track to the footage. Fitted well I thought.

The dramatic music choice can be overdone....creating over hype.

But as you will note, some hated this track, some loved it - with lots in between.

That's how it is with music, isn't it?

Mick

Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

By the way (Mick with his stat head on) this video is probably the most viewed video via UKC with 7,305 plays since it went up Friday morning to now (3 days).



Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Great lyrics too:

Left the city, my momma she said don't come back home
These kids round' killin each other, they lost they minds, they gone
They quittin' school, making babies and can barely read
Some gone off to their fall, lord have mercy on them
One, two, three, four, your cousins is round' here sellin' dope
While they're daddies, your uncle is walking round' strung out
Babies with babies, and their tears keep burning, while their dreams go down the drain now

Are we really living or just walking dead now?
Or dreaming of a hope riding the wings of angels
The way we live
The way we die
What a tragedy, I'm so terrified
Day dreamers please wake up, we can't sleep no more

Love don't make no sense, ask your neighbor
The winds have changed; it seems they have abandoned us
The truth hurts, and so does yesterday
What good is love if it burns bright, and explodes in flames
(I thought every little thing had love but uhh)

Are we really living or just walking dead now?
Or dreaming of a hope riding the wings of angels
The way we live
The way we die
What a tragedy, I'm so terrified
Day dreamers please wake up, we can't sleep no more

I've seen them shootin' up funerals in they Sunday clothes
Spending money on spinners but won't pay college loans
And all you gangers and bangers rollin' dice and taking lives, in a smokey dark
Lord have mercy on you
Teacher, teacher please reach those girls in them videos
The little girls just broken Queen, confusing bling for soul
Danger, there's danger when you take off your clothes, all your dreams go down the drain girl

Are we really living or just walking dead now?
Or dreaming of a hope riding the wings of angels
The way we live
The way we die
What a tragedy, I'm so terrified
Day dreamers please wake up, we can't sleep no more

We live and then we die, and we never know the why
So now, now we go, down underground
We think that we can fly, but we never touch the sky
So down, now we go, down underground

Five, seven, eight, two, one
It is now time, for you to come home my dear
You've been gone long enough
You must come, you must go

The Pylon King on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to pmot)
>
> But as you will note, some hated this track, some loved it - with lots in between.
>
> That's how it is with music, isn't it?

I have to disagree

its a film and the soundtrack should be integral to the footage. You dont see Good films and say i liked the film but didnt like the soundtrack. i guess its the difference between film makers making films and climbers making films.

Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> I have to disagree,

You can disagree until you are blue in the face, but you would be wrong, the fact is that some hated this track, some loved it - with lots in between.

You don't like the music - what's the big deal. Some do like the music.

If you are going to make some big statement about music and climbing film, give it some thought!
The Pylon King on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to The Pylon King)
> [...]
>

> If you are going to make some big statement about music and climbing film, give it some thought!


I have given it plenty of thought thank you very much.

I don't dislike the music

It doesnt fit with the footage

maybe im just a little more critical than the average climber
Dave Gill on 21 Dec 2008 - host86-152-7-245.range86-152.btcentralplus.com
In reply to The Pylon King:

Fair play.

Whilst it'd be nice to please everyone's music taste, it's never going to happen. It's something (not a problem) that filmmakers will always face.

It's great to hear your opinion, but you have to remember it is just that.

Music taste's vary massively, you can't win 'em all. Not hard to click mute and open iTunes.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
>
> I have given it plenty of thought thank you very much.
>
> I don't dislike the music
>
> It doesnt fit with the footage

How so?

It's easy to say you don't like, or that it doesn't fit, but seeing as you are a muso and a musician perhaps it would be edifying to actually say why you think it doesn't fit.

In the past skaetboarding and bouldering videos were accompanied by rap and aggressive gangsta music - these days they prefer something mellower.
The Pylon King on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Footage:

Tense, serious, worrying, artistic, subtle etc

Music:

jazzy, poppy, slick, carefree, obvious etc etc


doesnt work for me, from a creative point of view.

Less is more in soundtracks
Gordon Stainforth - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:

I agree with you. The music didn't seem to have anything to do with it whatever. The only good thing about it was when it faded out shortly before he fell off. If that messy soundtrack truly represents anything that was going on in his head before he fell off, no wonder he fell off.
Michael Ryan - on 21 Dec 2008
In reply to The Pylon King:

Thanks Pylon......"jazzy, poppy, slick, carefree, obvious etc etc"

Is why it worked for me, especially the carefree bit, as it juxtaposed the serious situation he was in.

I've seen several climbing vids recently and the dramatic build up and tension of both footage and accompanying music has been way overplayed.

Way too serious......... fun is good sometimes.


Cole Gibson on 22 Dec 2008 - 38.98.21.154 whois?
Hey Dave,

I thought the music was one of the best parts of the film. Classy bit of film making either way in my opinion.
Martin Davies on 22 Dec 2008
> Are we really living or just walking dead now?

Quite apt for the situation! M
MorganPreece - on 25 Dec 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
Good Efort!!!!!! one hell of a line!!!!!!
teflonpete - on 26 Dec 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I watched it with the kids watching Spongebob on the TV next to me. Couldn't hear the soundtrack over Spongebob and Patrick wittering on but the footage alone had me gripped.
The guy IMHO looked like he was onsighting as he was feeling around for holds whereas a true beta flash would have given him knowledge of where they were. Either way, massive respect for attempting it ground up as it's an enormously committing route and way beyond the abilities or mindset of all but a few climbers. Glad he's OK.
Chris Owen - on 29 Dec 2008
In reply to Niall Grimes:

I agree with Niall - I see 'on-sight' as a term for your first attempt, using your own creative solutions for completing the route. Whether you've seen a video of the route is a lot less tarnishing than, say, having the holds covered in chalk. I recently did a boulder problem that had been washed clean of chalk by recent rain, spent quite a ling time searching for the holds - did I on-sight it again?
Michael Hood - on 29 Dec 2008
In reply to Chris Owen: In a similar vein does how good your route memory is allow repeat on-sights?

For example, I have a mate who can re-do a route a couple of weeks later and not realise that he's done it before, whereas I might remember some of the moves from 20 years ago.

Does that mean my mate can do multiple on-sights because his previous ascents do not provide hime with any knowledge for further ascents?
pec on 09 Jan 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Regarding the music, clearly there will always be some who love and some who hate any music which is chosen which begs the question, why is it necessary at all?

I recently rewatched some old videos of Ron Fawcett on Lord of the flies, Strawberries and The Prow with no music at all and they were non the worse for it.

Whatever music is used will aways annoy a fair proportion of viewers, I suspect the absence of music would do so far less.

If you really want to listen to some music whilst watching a climbing film go and put a CD on at the same time!

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