/ NEWS: VIDEO: Maya Holding The Series - Episode 4
This six episode series follows Bristol based climber Maya Holding as she hits her local crag of Cheddar and makes a couple of trips down to Portland.
This isn't a high-flying, high-budget...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=64481
Could somebody please tell Maya that she is going to deck if she ever falls whilst clipping the first three bolts though. It make me half close my eyes every time she pulls up meter after meter of slack!
Am I missing something here? I've stuck with it thro four episodes now and she seems a perfectly pleasant lass but basically it's a series about a middling climber doing middling routes on some pretty middling crags. It was billed as showing how a young climber goes about breaking through the 7a barrier but it seems to offer no insights whatsoever. She giggles, says she's going to try X route, then we see her walking up to the crag and she climbs X route and that's it. Nothing about the struggle - maybe there wasn't one - nothing about the process, nothing about how you break a psychological barrier like your first 7, nothing about the mind games, nothing about what she thinks was holding her back before...zilch.
Big yawn really
First and foremost - I'm loving the Climbing with Maya series, it's well shot, well edited, and refreshing to see climbs of a lower grade featured in such a production.
A request to UKC though: Please enable the full-screen option when you embed Vimeo videos - I have to click through to Vimeo every time I wan't to watch a video you post - it'd be better for your advertisers to keep people on the UKC site, and it'd be better for us viewers too!
At least in this one she didn't insist on top-roping it cleanly several times before daring to try it on lead, risking the unimaginable horrors of a 3 or 4 metre benign fall into space!
My feeling is not so much to applaud the showing of a middling climber doing middling routes, but rather it is frustration at how obvious it is that said middling climber isn't really a middling climber at all, but a high achiever who hasn't yet been convinced that she could and should be trying climbs way harder that those portrayed. Somebody tell her to get on a 7c, please! And stop bloody top-roping - get on lead and start ticking routes the first time you're able to link the moves rather than the third time!
> A request to UKC though: Please enable the full-screen option when you embed Vimeo videos - I have to click through to Vimeo every time I wan't to watch a video you post - it'd be better for your advertisers to keep people on the UKC site, and it'd be better for us viewers too!
full screen works fine for me
> At least in this one she didn't insist on top-roping it cleanly several times before daring to try it on lead, risking the unimaginable horrors of a 3 or 4 metre benign fall into space!
> My feeling is not so much to applaud the showing of a middling climber doing middling routes, but rather it is frustration at how obvious it is that said middling climber isn't really a middling climber at all, but a high achiever who hasn't yet been convinced that she could and should be trying climbs way harder that those portrayed. Somebody tell her to get on a 7c, please! And stop bloody top-roping - get on lead and start ticking routes the first time you're able to link the moves rather than the third time!
I liked that post.
Good effort Maya!
It's nice to see something different on here and see what female talent could be coming through. I agree she is probably capable of doing much better and harder things, but this might be a big step for her, or she may be nervous when it comes to leading. As none of us know her, I think its hard to pass comment. If it makes you 'yawn', don't watch it.
Maya, if you read this, give me a shout when you come to Sheffield and we can head out to the peaks and go climbing together.
It does look quite slick, so it's novel to see a professional-looking film about someone relatively ordinary. The series isn't over yet though, so maybe there will be some hard work or angst evident in a later episode.
I agree. I think the production values are really good, but I was expecting them to show the struggles involved in climbing. So far, she hasn't fallen once on lead and seems to climb everything first go.
Even in Episode 4, when she 'fell off', they didn't bother showing the video of it.
Might as well watch a Big Up movie. Even though I'll never climb at those grades, at least they show the struggle behind it.
Would you rather there be no video at all?! I think its great that we get this video for free. The more climbing porn I get the better. And it makes a change it being good quality rather than the poor quality stuff I trawl through on youtube.
The only thing you are missing is that she is easy on the eye.
Lets face it, if the series had been some irritatingly edited films about some middling pimply youth climbing some middling routes in middling style without really having to try too hard and without any sort of intelligent commentary or insight, it would be getting more of the comments here that it actually deserves.
This will save 15 minutes of your life:
Episode 5 - Maya turns up at crag and climbs a 7a. Few soft focus shots thrown in.
Episode 6 - Maya turns up at crag and climbs a 7a+. More soft focus shots to emphasise what a nice girl Maya is.
I feel quite let down. Its all too nice. A nice girl, Nice photography. Perfect for showing in nice middle class schools. In the end its just really a bit of advertising for the filmaker to perhaps get him a commission for C4. "I've done six climbing films!" I read the title. I expected Leo Houlding's sassy and totally hot young sis cursing and thrashing her way up some mindblowing routes. There was no real atmosphere for any of the locations.
Hmmmm this may or may not be so , but I'll probably end up watching them anyway tbh . They could of pushed certain aspects harder but its all a learning curve isn't it ? We all have to start some where & maybe those involved will take on some of the viewers comments to positive effect in the future ?
I hope so anyway & don't get me wrong I think constructive critique is good & can really help in many ways .Plus you never know there could be an x rated gnarly directors cut on a hard drive some where too (you know with proper swear words & stuff) . All good in the hood ;0)
> This will save 15 minutes of your life:
> Episode 5 - Maya turns up at crag and climbs a 7a. Few soft focus shots thrown in.
> Episode 6 - Maya turns up at crag and climbs a 7a+. More soft focus shots to emphasise what a nice girl Maya is.
> I watched half the first one and it seems it is an advertorial for Rab. Did I miss something else?
I make films so I feel I can give a little constructive feedback. I think the editing is very well done and professionally constructed. Some of the colouring and overlays are subtle yet really effective and there is real attention to the music and pace, which is really important, but difficult to do well. So well done.
The overall idea for the film is good but could do with a little more substance and grittyness. Impressive and flashy edits don't make up for an empty story (I don't think this is an empty story, you just need to dig a little deeper and make it less staged)
The colouring and graphics within the films are great (and better than I can do!) and would work really well for corporate work for outdoor companies etc, however, too much of that stuff becomes very gimmicky. I find that more and more DSLR films are full of gimmicks but lack substance. The story is very important and if its not strong you will notice.
Its not easy to make such a professional looking film on your own, so well done!
I think I agree with what everyone has said above. The locations are a bit lacklustre, the climbs don't look that appealing but most of all there's barely any substance behind the shots. Where's this struggle that we were promised? She's pissing everything! And she started by walking up a 7a+! Why wasn't this one shown after the 7as?
I think the editing is very well done and professionally constructed.
What? It is dreadful! So the film maker has got his hands on some fancy editing software, learnt how to use it and is determined to use every gimmick available. No shot is long enough to get a feel for the climbing and every shot is too close up to get a feel for the routes. And we don't need an annoying close up of evry clip. It is almost unwatchable. He would have been better off sticking the camera on a tripod some way back from the routes and letting it film the climb as it happened. Less would be much more in this case.
Mind you, if that last one is 7a I might well get on it and break into the 7's, it looks quite easy :)
Some people like that sort of stuff. You clearly don't which is ok, but perhaps you could be a little more constructive toward someone who is just starting out?
I agree, far too much negativity (ahem) on UKC. It really is a shame sometimes.
This was a really nice idea and was pleasant enough to watch. The main downside was that it didn't really inspire as the story wasn't told strongly enough, but that's a lesson learnt I suppose. NIce effort all the same.
I am sure it is very difficult indeed. That is not my point though (obviously). Just because it is very difficult to do does not justify its overuse to spoil a video.
Edit is slick no doubt about it. Got a very Camp4 feel to it.
Though I think it's a pretty valid point that it would be entertaining to see some falls/struggles. Doesn't mean the production has no value whatsoever, just room for improvement.
I think it's pretty much the most basic narrative possible. Obstacle > Resolution.
To have someone just cruising climbs isn't particularly entertaining. As one video, I think it's fine. But I think most people criticism is that across 6 episodes it's feeling a little stretched.
Unfortunately I have to agree with most of the above. I think it's great that an 'average' climber is getting some publicity, and obviously Maya comes across as a lovely person in the films. Even though it's not other people's cup of tea I think the editing is slick and professional and altogether nicely finished. You obviously have talent and good effort getting stuck in and putting the hard work into making the films!
But the lack of story in this is its downfall. It could have been a great little series if it'd been done with a little more thought. Presumably the idea was that she wanted to break into the 7s, and then for her to follow that up with ticking a 7b (so when she does 7a+ quite easily in the first episode it kind of ruined that!). But up to now it's just been her steadily ticking some pretty average looking routes. But I can't blame you or her for that - it is the UK after all! ;-)
If she'd highlighted a 7b that she was really motivated to do in the first episode and we'd seen her struggling to do the moves, then the series followed her progress through the grades and her training plan, wall sessions in between etc etc and ending with her ticking (or not) her project there would have been some tension and build-up and an interesting story that many climbers would have identifed with. And also would have been a great series for tips and inspiration for others in the same situation. My girlfriend for example has also been moving through the grades and ultimately wants to do a 7b soon so she was really interested to see how Maya got on and what she was doing to make progress. But she's completely lost interest in it now!
As it is, it just comes across as a big advert for Rab and promotion for the film maker (plus the obligatory down the top shots!) rather than the gripping story that it could have been.
Adrian - why not do another series following Maya through from choosing a harder project that she's motivated by and showing what it takes for her to reach that level. The dedication, hard work and effort that she puts in. Like showing her winter training program, dogging sessions on the route, sore skin, flappers, tears & tantrums (if any!) etc etc. Warts and all. Not just the easy successes shown in this series. After all, that's what most people's experiences of redpointing sport routes at their limit is. Don't be put off by all the negativity and criticism - just learn from it and come back with something to show for it!
Adrian (film maker) here.
Thank you to everyone that has given constructive criticism on here.
Here are a few points I would just like to say in justification to some of the comments.
1. This project came about one day when I was at the crag with Maya and I had my camera there, I filmed her on a route and put a short edit together.
It went on my vimeo page and website. UKC then saw the video(s) and thought they might like to publish them on here. I then filmed Maya on a few more routes and polished them up a bit and put them into a series.
2. Maya's original intention was to climb a 7a. Up until the beginning of the summer she had only really been climbing 6c outside. When she ticked the 7a+ in Ep2, that was genuinely the first climb she had tried of that grade, and after a few attempts she did get it. There was no particular 'struggle'. Yes we all agree Maya should start trying harder routes! The order the videos are in are the order that she did tick them.
This is what Maya had to say in reply to comments on Ep3
Hi, thanks for your feedback, I'm glad you have enjoyed the episodes so far.
"I can see your criticism of me attaining the 7a+ so quickly, maybe we should have changed the goal to 7b. We have left this series as true to the events this summer as possible, and 7a was genuinely the goal at the beginning. It actually came a lot easier than I had expected!
I actually found the climb at Portland a lot harder, although it was a 7a. The last 2 episodes (Thursdays and Fridays episodes) are trying 7bs, we hadn't put this as the aim as I never ever imagined I could be trying this when I first set out my goal, I was worried I wouldn't get a 7a.
I hope this helps to explain everything
Episodes 5 + 6 are of Maya trying 7b's and she does struggle.
It is hard trying to make a short edit of someone trying a route, particularly when they don't find it very hard.
I've learnt you can't please everyone on here…
Thanks and hope you enjoy Ep 5&6
For an example of how to make a fantastic film of ordinary climbers, I recommend Nick Tarmey's 'Living For the Weekend' and his shorter film 'Le Club GUM Dans Les Alps' and a short called I think 'Ali Gets the Fear' (brilliant - someone absolutely terrified leading an ice route). No fancy editing techniques. Unfortunatetly, these only came out on a VHS tape and isn't available any more.
I think that all the best sport climbing videos consist of one (or very few) long takes. Obviously it helps if the technology is available to slowly change the camera position as the climber progresses. That way you can get a real feel for how the climb is progressing, the pump building, the hurrying through hard sections, the milking of shake-outs (yes, it may need bold editing not to cut the shake-outs, but it really does allow the tension to build - imagine watching snooker on TV without all the pacing round the table.....). I think the best sport climbing video I have seen was that one on here of Adam Ondra onsighting that 8c at Oliana; as far as I remember it was one long take. Yes, I know that Maya isn't Adam Ondra, but put her on something where she has to try really hard and it could be just about as good to watch if well filmed.
I had no real interest in watching this, but this thread has been so intriguing that I just might have to now ;-)
@ john arran
I liked your post too, and it made me smile, but it also worried me very slightly:
'...but a high achiever who hasn't yet been convinced that she could and should be trying climbs way harder that those portrayed. Somebody tell her to get on a 7c, please!'
I went from "redpointing" 6b to redpointing 7c in less than 2 years, from memory, and have ended up with persistent shoulder problems and the confidence issues that recurring injuries exacerbate. It's not just about the willingness to apply yourself and raw ability. If someone's going to encourage her (or anyone) to make a big jump in grade, they also need to offer all-round support and guidance.
I think basically, except for Alex Honnold soloing, we are all just waiting to see her fall off. Sorry Maya! I know it's terrible (like slowing down to look at accidents) but it's just climber/human nature. :-)
Blame Hard Grit!
> If someone's going to encourage her (or anyone) to make a big jump in grade, they also need to offer all-round support and guidance.
No necessarily. I would be quite happy to see her trying really hard, slapping and power sceaming her way up totally pumped so that we can will her on to clip the chain by the skin of her teeth.
> I think basically, except for Alex Honnold soloing, we are all just waiting to see her fall off. Sorry Maya! I know it's terrible (like slowing down to look at accidents) but it's just climber/human nature. :-)
> Blame Hard Grit!
Thanks:) I'm glad your enjoying them.
The first route was Airborne attack, which is a 6b and the multipitch was Space tourist was a 6b+. Until this summer this was the sort of grades I was leading outdoors as I got scared on lead easily- probably why I haven't been falling much up until now in the episodes!
Throughout the series (this summer) I have been starting to get on things on lead much quicker, and building confidence in leading and my ability. This can be hard to show in a short 3min film though. I talk about my journey over the summer more in tomorrows episode.
Tonight's and tomorrow's episode I am working 7bs, and I do take a big fall in each of them!
> She's 22.
So was I. Being 22 doesn't mean that you know everything about climbing and the effect it'll have on your body, though I admit that information about training, injuries etc. is much more available than it used to be.
My point was simply that 'just getting on a 7c' might not be a wise idea, without consolidation. That's 'might', not 'never'. I could say more, but I don't think you could argue with that?
why does vimeo not play on my mac?
At Cheddar as well? Sorry, don't know that part of the world well.
Excellent - just make sure its not of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK7DfNZLK9E type!
BTW, having told you to fall off more, don't let anyone tell you that you can't wear a helmet sport climbing! :) If you don't want to, then fine - you're a big girl and it's your decision. But I noticed you wore one trad climbing but not sport. Considering we all probably fall of sport climbing more than trad climbing, to me at least its always made as much if not more sense to wear one on sports routes.
> Excellent - just make sure its not of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK7DfNZLK9E type!
Haha luckily they're not that bad!
Yes their both in Cheddar, the multipitch is south side and the other one is north side.
And I can see it's wise to wear a helmet when doing sport, I probably will if I'm doing a route I'm likely to fall off alot!
The big difference is not how often you fall but how predictable to nature of the falls are likely to be. On the vast majority of sport climbs, as long as you are reasonable adept at falling, there is very very little chance of banging your head badly. On trad climbs there is often a risk of gear ripping, which can throw you much more unpredictably. That's not to say that a helmet wouldn't help many people on many sport climbs, but I don't see the advantage as being so great for those who are quite used to taking falls.
In reply to Sarah: I see where you're coming from but I wasn't advocating she puts herself through an intense training programme, rather that she climbed the 7a and 7a+ with so much in reserve that she could quite possibly get up considerably harder things even with her current level of strength, fitness and technique - if only she had the confidence to get on them. Maybe we'll get a better feel for that in the last two videos, but if she ends up getting up a 7b with only a few falls then 7c would be exactly what she should be looking at trying, if redpointing is her game.
If you want to climb harder then pushing your grade is always a good idea. If you get joint injuries through climbing then you're a bit silly, as you really have to not know your own body to get an injury. So, unsurprisingly yes, I do disagree with you, it is always a good idea to push yourself and by the age you're about 17 you should know what your body can take. I think most people are just a bit dense when they get injured- if you've spent 20 years of your life doing nowt and then start campusing three times a week, then you should expect to get injured.
If you jump on an E9 too hard for you and fall off to the deck head first, then you should expect to get injured... ;)
I take your point John and don't want to start an relatively pointless argument, but I guess it depends what your local area is! Where I climb (granite), and at the grades I climb, most of the sports routes are vertical or even a bit less, so you are not 'falling into space' as you might off many harder limestone sports routes. The mid grade sport I have done in the UK (Portland, Llanymynech for example) has been similar plus with additional 'attraction' of slightly chossy rock in parts (although this normally means if anyone SHOULD be wearing a helmet, it should be the belayer!).
I guess more than anything else, my Petzl meteor is so light and I'm so used to wearing a helmet, it really doesn't bother me at all. But of course, like I said, adults can make their own decisions.
I guess that's pretty much the kind of advice I was given, which is why I'm wary when I hear it. In retrospect I'd do things differently (isn't that always the case ;-) ) But I acknowledge that my injury experiences may be unusual. Whatever she chooses to do, I hope Maya has many years of rewarding climbing ahead of her!
I don't understand how if you were cruising F7bs, trying a F7c would result in injury. What did you do, dyno for a bolt?
> showing what it takes for her to reach that level. The dedication, hard work and effort that she puts in. Like showing her winter training program, dogging sessions on the route, sore skin, flappers, tears & tantrums (if any!) etc etc. Warts and all. Not just the easy successes shown in this series. After all, that's what most people's experiences of redpointing sport routes at their limit is.
Question : is this, really, how the "average" climber approaches the sport?
Do most climbers in the sport 6's and low 7's go through an 80 meters skinny rope in a few months of falling&dogging, do they really have skin problems, are they obsessed about those extra calories, do they get injuried out of overtraining, are they really structuring their training and climbing towards their objectives, are they compromising/arranging other sides of their lives so that they can climb more and better?
Are they identical to the average dedicated and obsessed "8" climber, except that they operate at a much lower level?
I agree that a story of easy successes on average-looking mid grade routes is basically not a story at all and it's plain dull to watch, but it might tell more about the reality of most mid-grade climbers than what you and others suggest.
i'm basically saying that the biggest and most common limitation among "6's into 7's" climbers is that they don't try hard enough, for a number of reasons...but i'm definitely not saying that they would all be much stronger if they really tried hard, nor that their extreme amateurism has something inherently wrong.
I have to admit, I think it's a little ignorant and offensive to suggest that people who get joint injuries are silly or dense? Injuries aren't always as predictable as you'd like to think. And while pushing your grade is of course the definition of climbing harder, pushing your grade all the time isn't such a great idea.
It's exactly that sort of defetist attitude that leads to people who really want to improve being brainwashed into thinking that they must 'consolidate'. If you've had a bad experience climbing, then don't try and pass that negativity onto someone else, who has potential.
> I don't understand how if you were cruising F7bs, trying a F7c would result in injury. What did you do, dyno for a bolt?
The answer to that one isn't for this thread. But if you're genuinely interested then I'm happy to continue the conversation in private!
> It's exactly that sort of defetist attitude that leads to people who really want to improve being brainwashed into thinking that they must 'consolidate'. If you've had a bad experience climbing, then don't try and pass that negativity onto someone else, who has potential.
Franco, I love climbing. I don't think my comments were defeatist or negative in any way, and this conversation has gone way off topic.
Don't let him wind you up!
What a load of utter tosh. It's not even logically consistent. If you know what your body can take, then you know the point beyond which not to push, or the times when you should take it easy. So you know it is NOT always a good idea to push yourself.
Franco's logic is to appear logically inconsistent to wind you up. It worked.
You've got to push it at some point though otherwise noone is going to get anywhere... Didn't Mickey Page Climb font 8a in is first year of climbing? If that's not pushing it I don't know what is... And he's one of the best we have!!
I can't believe there are this many posts and noone has pointed out that the video series desperately needs one extra comma.
What is UKC coming to?
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