Reel Rock Film Tour comes to the south

The Reel Rock Film Tour 7 heads to the South this weekend, kicking off its first stop right here in Chattanooga. For those of you who don’t know about the Reel Rock Film Tour, it’s the leading film tour in the climbing world. Founders Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer have been directing and producing films for more than ten years and each time, amazingly, they take it to a new level. The recipient of numbers international film festival awards, Reel Rock is a must-see for adventure film junkies.

Among other stories, the film documents crowning moments in recent climbing history such as Alex Honold’s nerve-racking solos in Yosemite and the Ondra/Sharma face-off on Spanish uber-route La Dura Dura. The later is especially exciting right now that the Dura Dura chapter closed just last week when Ondra finally sent what could be considered the hardest single-pitch line in the world.

The film is full of high-energy footage and sharp story-telling — the best of the best of what’s happening in climbing videography right now. This tour officially kicked off last summer, but is circling back through the South. So for those of you who missed it at the Stone Fort comp last fall, this is your chance to see the action.

Here’s a little taste of the film.

If you want more and live in the South, check out these upcoming tour dates/cities or visit The Reel Rock site for more information:

Chattanooga – Friday February 15

Huntsville - Saturday February 16

Knoxville – February 18

Birmingham – February 19

Dog Dayzzzzzzz of Summer

Last September I wrote about the debut of “A Fine Line,” a climbing film by Andrew Kornylak and Josh Fowler.  The film is beautifully styled, with no grades, no pretension and loads of surreal images. It follows a group of boulders, two of which are Chattanooga locals — Jimmy Webb and Brion Voges.

Tonight, Chattanooga locals will be able to see it on at Rock/Creek Outfitters for the Dog Days of Summer Pint Night. It’s going to be a great event with beer, live bluegrass music, and then the showing. So all you climbers and those interested in climbing, come out for the showing. Bluegrass and beer start at 6 p.m. and the showing starts at 7:30 p.m. Did I mention there was going to be beer?

A Fine Line – Film Trailer from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

A little inspiration

A video for inspiration. One of the great climbing photographers, Simon Carter, speaks about his images over the years. I met Simon in the Red River Gorge. He is humble, soft-spoken and endlessly motivated to get the right shot. It’s not work for him, and his love for photography comes across in his work. The video, by Brett Williams, appeared in the online mag Vertical Life Magazine which you can see here. Enjoy.

Sterling Rope video!

Last December, pro climbers Joe Kinder and Colette McInerney came to Chattanooga to check out the climbing. While here they put together a short Sterling Rope video about my life climbing with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an autoimmune arthritis that affects your hips and back. It’s in the same family of diseases as Rheumatoid Arthritis and causes chronic inflammation in the SI joints and the spine as well as lots of stiffness. It can also affect other parts of the body and cause some strange non-related symptoms. Symptoms often come on harsh in flare-ups and get worse with inactivity. If left untreated, the inflammation in the spine can lead to spinal fusion.

I was lucky enough to catch it in an early stage. While it still took more than six years to diagnose from the onset of the first symptom, I suffered minimal damage and have been keeping it at bay with a biologic drug called Enbrel. I give myself a shot once a week. While the drugs have helped drastically, I feel that my active lifestyle — and in particular climbing — has really been the most important part of keeping my symptoms in check. Climbing and the movement has become part of my therapy. I really can’t see life without it. It not only helps keep my spine healthy, but is a celebration of something that I have come to think of not as a given, but as a gift: mobility.

Though I still have flare-ups and struggling with bouts of pain, I have a greater appreciation for how lucky I am that I can still climb and still push my limits. I sometimes have to balance my want to climb as much and as hard as I can with what my body can handle during bad times,  but I am still able to do what I love, which is more than some people with this disease can say. I hope others with AS will see how climbing has changed my life for the better and strive to find a therapy in movement that I have come to find through climbing.

I had a great time doing the video with Joe and Colette. They’re amazing people. Beyond their love of rock climbing, psych and motivation they are both talented behind the lens. As a duo they work seamlessly, making it look like they’re not even trying. They share a very unique perspective, and through the lens that comes across. The videos they have been creating get better with each one. I find them to be very impressive and inspiring. Congrats to them on a job well done! Thanks Joe and Colette for making it happen, and thanks to Sterling Rope for standing behind me!

So, here’s the video. Would love feedback and please share with other!