UKC

/ VIDEO: Tom Randall - Obsession

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UKC News - on 01 Nov 2016
Tom Randall - Obsession, 4 kbTom Randall is a modern day institution in the world of British climbing. Well known for his acquired taste for offwidth crack routes, Tom consistently sets himself the highest standards and the hardest lines.

For Tom, climbing is all-consuming, but this hasn't always been the case. In 'Obsession' Tom provides a unique insight into his formative years spent in a world entirely different to the one we associate him with now, and how he copes with conflicting priorities that are fundamental to his continued happiness and ambitious drive.



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1
Franco Cookson on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Really nice video and amazing to see an esoteric Moors venue on a proper climbing video. The first time maybe?

Insuforia (E7 6b) is the route for those wondering. Cringle Crag
1
Michael Gordon - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Nice. And good to hear Libby Peter's "climbing never stops, does it?" line again! (I'm assuming that's not a Rab marketing phrase)
galpinos on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I don't think I've ever seen it it dry when I run past it!

It did give me a wry smile when the shot whilst the commentry was talking about moving to Sheffield had Roseberry Topping clearly in The background.
Fiend - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Direct link: https://www.vimeo.com/189176497 , as the embedded video doesn't have volume control.
stp - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I'm assuming that's not a Rab marketing phrase

Well spotted and if it's not then it's certainly quite a coincidence. I've not heard that phrase used anywhere else.
stp - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to Fiend:

On Vimeo it also get's a mature content warning for sexually explicit, suggestive or mature content. What bit was that for?
Duncan Campbell - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to stp:

Maybe for the chat about the parties he used to go to when he worked in the city?
BAdhoc - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

great video, good to see the moors featuring!
Knut R. - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:
To various levels, I think this spoke to all of us who can't seem to let climbing go. I've told myself for years that 'one day I'll walk', but I seem incapable.

The section where he was talking about how, when climbing, there's nothing else in the mind - how it's a complete step sideways from the rest of the world - that's the part that hit home.

Good vid.
jas wood - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Really good open video and agree in showcasing the beautiful moors, don't want the place busy mind!!
rtinma on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

I loved the honesty about the compulsive side of climbing and how to balance that with the joys and responsibilities of family life; a dilemma faced by many climbers.
Robert Durran - on 01 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Excellent film, came across as very honest and genuine.
1
humptydumpty - on 01 Nov 2016
Most interesting climbing video that I've watched. Thanks.
C Witter on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Is this what passes for 'honest' and 'authentic' these days? Really, it's very thin and hollow: a sad mixture of garbled oversharing replete with b-movie "flashbacks" to work in finance (the only real surprise...), some stock footage borrowed from a Wild Country advert for helium cams, and some kind of pastiche of an interview, which seems to occur in an abandoned warehouse, as though poor Tom's somehow found himself in Reservoir Dogs, and is about to have his ear cut off unless he can gain the sympathy of his captors... I wouldn't care except some people seem to lap this awful crud up...
25
humptydumpty - on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

Most entertaining climbing video comment I've read. Thanks.
2
nb - on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

Amusing and insightful comment but a bit harsh in my opinion!
Mick Ward - on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

Gosh, did we watch the same video? I thought he was agonisingly honest. And it's an incredibly important subject. The ego-driven selfishness and obsessiveness of so many climbers horrifies me - and I'm not even talking of elite climbers pushing body and mind towards their limits, just normal climbers.

In my view (and sure, it's only my view!) this is someone who pushes his body and mind right to their limits and gives a huge amount of commitment to non-climbing relationships. I really can't see how anyone can possibly do better than this.

Mick
Robert Durran - on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:

Couldn't agree more.
Michael Gordon - on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to nb:

> Amusing and insightful comment but a bit harsh in my opinion!

Amusing, perhaps. Insightful, no. Harsh, definitely!
rtinma on 02 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

> Is this what passes for 'honest' and 'authentic' these days? Really, it's very thin and hollow: ... I wouldn't care except some people seem to lap this awful crud up...

I think Tom Randall's record speaks for itself and deserves some measure of respect. If you watch his other films he comes across as driven, but self-deprecating, with a real sense of humour. He is worth listening to.
C Witter on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:
Just a note: my comment is not a criticism of Tom Randall but of these horrible Rab videos where top climbers are asked to reveal their personal lives in little rapid-edit fluff pieces for expensive fleeces.

Consider this response:

"I think Tom Randall's record speaks for itself and deserves some measure of respect. If you watch his other films he comes across as driven, but self-deprecating, with a real sense of humour. He is worth listening to."

The fact that people can say, e.g., 'his films', 'he is worth listening to', shows how uncritically people consume these guff advertisements - particularly when they pretend to be personally revealing. In fact, this video is not revealing at all; instead, it only touches superficially on the psychological, political and emotional aspects of climbing in order to manipulate its audience's emotions.

A case in point is the tag line others have already pointed out: "Climbing never stops, does it?" These are presented as Randall's words, but they're not. When we say "he is worth listening to" - who are we really listening to?
Post edited at 08:48
4
Otis - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

Great video. I've always admired what tom does in terms of his achievements, dedication, drive and the slight smattering of madness that appears to go hand in hand with the above. I had no knowledge on his previous life and thought the opening section was incredibly brave and honest. It brought something a bit different to the climbing movie genre and was all the better for it.
planetmarshall on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Gosh, did we watch the same video? I thought he was agonisingly honest.

I thought he was actually quite restrained. More like he wanted to be brutally honest, but couldn't quite bring himself to do it. I definitely got the impression he was holding a lot back.

Anyway, it's a fluff piece for Rab, not Werner Herzog.

C Witter on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:
I would love to see a climbing film made by Herzog. Perhaps about a climbing team trying to scale a Patagonian peak... whilst hauling a steam boat?
Post edited at 09:08
John2 - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

'I would love to see a climbing film made by Herzog'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Ye47Yz9i4
C Witter on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to John2:

Well, there you are - thanks. I just need to find it with English subs now.
John2 - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

Not what you were hoping for I'm afraid, a documentary rather than an imaginative piece starring Klaus Kinski.
galpinos on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I thought he was actually quite restrained. More like he wanted to be brutally honest, but couldn't quite bring himself to do it. I definitely got the impression he was holding a lot back.

> Anyway, it's a fluff piece for Rab, not Werner Herzog.

I think your point is what has got CWitter riled up, and how it affected me. I got a glimpse of what could be an interesting story but ultimately came to nothing. It was further exacerbated by the taking head criticisms above and the "flashback" scenes in which Tom looked like the Tom of 'now' dressing up, not the Tom of 'then'. I preferred the Libby Peter one as it didn't seem to have much potential greater than what it was (no disservice to Libby Peter).

The idea is good and interesting, as is the subject, the execution falls drastically short.
Spengler on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

The YouTube auto translate English subs seem okay. Click the gear cog on the bottom right of the video to change the settings.
ukb & bmc shark - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Gosh, did we watch the same video? I thought he was agonisingly honest. And it's an incredibly important subject. The ego-driven selfishness and obsessiveness of so many climbers horrifies me - and I'm not even talking of elite climbers pushing body and mind towards their limits, just normal climbers.

> In my view (and sure, it's only my view!) this is someone who pushes his body and mind right to their limits and gives a huge amount of commitment to non-climbing relationships. I really can't see how anyone can possibly do better than this.

> Mick

I agree and have no doubt that Tom is being frank.

Ii isn't possible to be 100% committed to more than one thing though with management you can be 90% committed to two. If you are a single climber with no other responsibilities this is not an issue. For those in an (equitable) relationship and more so with children then the best you can strive for is a balanced scorecard with compromises, disappointments and regrets along the way but a more rounded life.



Offwidth - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:
Of course its a criticism of Tom as he agreed to do it. Its hardly a shock that sponsor committments are part of the professional climber's life. In the case of these short films how much is advertsing fluff and how much is given honestly to the climber is really up to the filmmaker and the viewer. I saw a different balance to you but would prefer a longer, more in-depth piece. Even Herzog would struggle to do his stuff in such a short format (and overlooking his climbing film whilst being just a bit pompous is very funny).
Post edited at 12:04
John2 - on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

For anyone who's interested, here's a link to an English language version of Herzog's film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujh7BcgjmNg .

It's well worth watching - it documents Messner and Kammerlander's linked ascent of Gasherbrums 1 and 2.
planetmarshall on 03 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:

> I would love to see a climbing film made by Herzog.

Totally unrelated, but there's a YouTube spoof of a trailer for a Herzog-directed version of Marvel's 'Ant Man'. Had me in stitches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhuvfJPx0Mk
rtinma on 04 Nov 2016
In reply to John2:

Nobody expects Werner Herzog!
What next, the ministry of Silly Climbs?
John2 - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to rtinma:

Nothing to do with the subject of the thread, but a brand new Werner Herzog film has just been added to Netfix - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Inferno_(film)
Adam Long - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to C Witter:
> I would love to see a climbing film made by Herzog. Perhaps about a climbing team trying to scale a Patagonian peak...

Even better, Herzog made a film based on the Cerro Torre controversy, starring Stefan Glowacz. Some of the footage is incredible.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102855/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC7Nb_698iI

Limited steam boat content though, sorry.
Post edited at 19:51
Wee Davie - on 10 Nov 2016
In reply to UKC News:

I liked this video a lot. Very honest and told a story about Tom Randall's path to where he is now- with some obviously tough times along the way. There's nothing more boring than a vid of just people doing sick hard moves, it's the human element that makes a video enjoyable for me.

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