Climbing GiantsFri Night Vid

© Noah Kane

In our first Friday Night Video of 2024, we head to Costa Rica where Noah Kane takes us up some spectacular climbs - not on rock faces but in trees. Through the magical adventures of climbing strangler fig trees in the lush mountains of Costa Rica, young climbers find love and purpose for protecting the endangered biodiversity of the cloud forest.

Although this film does address the scientific impacts of climate change in Costa Rica through interviews with pioneering canopy researchers, this film focuses on hopeful emotional aspects in an attempt to author the coming generation's relationship with the climate crisis.

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5 Jan

What an amazing film. I thought: Ok, a 48 minute film about climbing trees, I can skip through it if it gets boring or too tree-huggy. But I was riveted, didn´t want it to end.

You could make a film with exactly the same dialogue, just substituting "crag" for "tree" all the way through, and it would be a perfect rock climbing script. These people are so eloquent and passionate about their sport, and they´re also damn good climbers; they tape their toes instead of their fingers, can layback, jam, toehook in overhangs, semi-invert in offwidths; they train with Rock Rings in their kitchens and they happily take enormous whippers on lead.

The trees have names, have topos; substitute maybe "Froggatt" for the Porcupine Tree and "Strapadictomy" for the overhanging side, and it would be a fair comparison. All protection seems to be with slings; hearing them talk about their worries that tree climbers who are only looking for the excitement could damage the environment rings a lot of bells; they see themselves (with a big bow to Mick Ward) as "Custodians of the Trees", and they are also doing their best (successfully) to give this attitude to the next generation, as well as playing a big part in re-forestation.

The whole atmosphere of the film radiates both love for their environment, and an awareness of its fragility, in a way that a rock climbing film never could. A chain saw could fell one of these beauties in 10 minutes; it would take a lot of dynamite to do the same to, say, the Cromlech, and the difference is: the first instance is a very real danger, and the second just isn´t going to happen.

Many thanks to UKC for this film, I found it truly inspirational.

6 Jan

Beautiful film. Very authentic and meaningful. Nice to see people who are so engaged ad connected. Really enjoyed it.

9 Jan

That was amazing, and they're a great group of youngsters.


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