Video: A Climbing Day in Under Two Minutes


I think it can be really difficult to imagine what a rock climbing day is like if you've never climbed before. If all you have to feed your imagination is Cliffhanger or Alex Honnold on 60 minutes, you just might get the wrong idea. Many folks have climbed at a local gym, but that's arguably as different from outdoor climbing as those movies. I often try to explain what we do to friends or potential clients, but words often seem woefully inadequate. How can I capture the landscape, the fresh air, the freedom, and the challenge of a climbing day in words? Thankfully, I met videographer Scott Thompson, who offered some story-telling assistance.


Scott is a Chicago lifestyle photographer who hired me last year to take him climbing. During our day together, we hatched a plan to shoot a video telling the story of a guided climbing day at Devil's Lake. Scott rallied a talented, spirited crew together and we met up in late October for the shoot, which was a ton of fun, loads of work, and a great learning experience for me. Scott and the boys carried the equivalent of a small piano's worth of video gear up to Balanced Rock, and we enjoyed great climbing, nice fall light, and exquisite company while putting the story together. I am amazed at how well a short, sub-two-minute video can communicate so much more than words; I think this will help many folks understand what a day at the Lake is all about.

My huge thanks to Scott Thompson who led the shooting and art direction, and Jon Cole and John Burdett, who assisted on video. The beautiful Emily Nejad climbed way harder than anyone expected her to and Michael Cole was his usual dapper and charming self. Looking forward to the next opportunity I have to work with you all.