This week's Friday Night Video takes us to several overlooked bouldering areas in South Wales. Sam Lawson of Wedge Climbing is given a tour by some strong locals who have been developing the areas for several years. From desperate limestone, to bullet hard coastal rock, the variety along the south of Wales looks truly impressive.
Lovely video, I'm not much of a boulderer but I thoroughly enjoyed that.
(but seriously, I know the guy was nearly a pro boxer and everything, but to be projecting 8a boulders after just two years of climbing?!?! WTF?!?)
Lovely, inspiring video. I really enjoyed the way it told the story through the eyes of the local enthusiasts. Now can we have a companion video for easy South Wales bouldering?
Nice video and outstanding editing, but I think the Friday night video too often shows white men doing their bruh thing.
For the video makers, it would have been nice to include easier grade stuff (to make South Wales appealing to a wider audience) and maybe have some strong girls bouldering with you too (there are plenty in South Wales!).
For UKC, I suggest in your weekly pick you are a bit more broad and inclusive. No straight lines, Foiled with Hazel Findlay, and Operation Moffat were great Friday night videos that I enjoyed immensely, but these type of videos don't appear very often.
Nick Brown, who selects and publishes our Friday Night Video, is out filming for the next couple of days - hence unable to respond - so I thought I'd post a few thoughts in his absence.
> For UKC, I suggest in your weekly pick you are a bit more broad and inclusive. No straight lines, Foiled with Hazel Findlay, and Operation Moffat were great Friday night videos that I enjoyed immensely, but these type of videos don't appear very often.
For what it's worth, we try, but the reason these videos don't appear very often is because there isn't that many of them. Some weeks it's hard finding anything suitable, let alone something that is more broad and inclusive; however, whenever we have something available that fits that criteria we'll almost undoubtedly include it.
Were there to be a brighter side, I think that there's a lot more of this kind of content being produced now - both by brands and independent filmmakers - so my hope would be that were we to review the situation in 12 months time it'd be a bit better than it is now. Whilst I still think there'd be a bias, my hope is that this is diminishing year by year.
> For the video makers, it would have been nice to include easier grade stuff (to make South Wales appealing to a wider audience) and maybe have some strong girls bouldering with you too (there are plenty in South Wales!).
I sympathise a little with Wedge Climbing here, because I don't think their aim as a channel is to satisfy the needs of the masses - it's to provide inspirational footage for a more specialist, top end audience. Given that the channel is very much a passion project, and one that Sam has to fit in/amongst his own climbing, I can see why he focusses on what interests him most - and that's hard climbing in cool places.
As a bit of an aside, one thing we've really wanted to do at UKC, but failed to as a result of a lack of time in which to do it, is produce a series of films similar to what you've described, focussing on the more achievable end of the grading spectrum - hence (hopefully) appealing to a wide audience. We're hoping to do something in/around a few new areas in the Peak District this winter, and would love to venture further afield, but as always - it comes down to the often limited amount of time we have available.
I'm aware that's a bit of a long, rambling post, but hopefully it clarifies a few points and gives some hope that things are moving in the right direction.
If you've got any suggestions of circuits/areas you think we should visit please let us know!
Really appreciate your answer and really hope to see some great content in the next 12 months. I also appreciate that a lot of the nice, maybe more inclusive videos are sometimes not available for free. Looking forward to see content about Alex and Hazel climbing in Greenland, the first female ascent of Rayu, Janja onsighting 8c last year, but highly doubt these will be freely available for you to repost in Friday night video.
Regarding the filmmakers of "Underestimated", I guess I might have been a bit mislead by the title. I I thought I was going to watch a video showcasing the beauty of South Wales bouldering, not just a handful of uberhard problems, but of course its their channel and they can take any direction they want. And the quality of the editing was absolutely amazing. That made me stay until the end.