Showing posts from October, 2008

Fontainebleau Interlude

Balloons over the Forest at sunset Originally uploaded by Stone Country Press Having sprained a foot on the second day of a trip to Fontainebleau, it was time to be philosophical and sit atop a few viewpoint boulders. Sometimes this is not a bad thing and allows you to absorb the spirit of the forest and let a little serendipity creep in when otherwise you would be obsessed with brushing the excess chalk off the microscopic fantasia that is bouldering! Atop a boulder at Gorges aux Chats, I was pleasantly surprised by the sight of two hot-air balloons rising over the sunset canopy like contented thought bubbles. They drifted off over the woodsmoke inversion of the dusky sunset and vanished into a distant field. With the multi-coloured autumn leaves raining down over the grey rocks, it was simply the best place to be and the right moment. Just like the first morning setting out under a cool blue sky and crisp air to the ochre rocks of Potala... 'it doesn't get better than this

Echo Wall Review

This is an exceptional film about the bizarre relationship between mountains, humans and risk. No matter that it features probably the most serious high-end route on the planet, Dave and Claire MacLeod have created a unique vision of obsession, determination and stress. 'Echo Wall' captures all the emotional trauma of climbing at the limit in a situation where failure is unacceptable. As an independent team, Claire and Dave have obviously worked really hard to bring this film together and they succeed in showing some of the sacrifice and pain of climbing what is effectively E12 on the most inhospitable mountain in Britain. 'The Ben' is not always inhospitable and the film opens with some fine time-lapse images of clouds clearing and alpen-glow washing down the peppered eminence of The Comb high in Coire na Ciste. Some helicopter shots give us the right impression that the north face of this mountain is something truly alpine and alien to the lush land 4000 feet below.

Gutbuster Video

Here's a sample video from Pete Murray's upcoming film on Scottish bouldering, as Malc Smith talks us through 'Gutbuster' Font 8b+ at Dumbarton Rock: There will be a HI Res version on the Stone Country downloads page in the next few days, as well as samples from the forthcoming Dumby guide.