Production Announcement – Request for Information and Contacts

PRODUCTION ANNOUNCEMENT

F47 Productions, LLC announces the production of a feature length documentary motion picture about climbers and the history of climbing in Oklahoma. Research and principle photography for the documentary has begun and will take place over the course of 2012.

I am currently seeking information about historical milestones in Oklahoma climbing, central figures that have influenced Oklahoma climbing, and other individuals that might hold a place in Oklahoma climbing history.

This film (title forthcoming) is a documentary about climbers and the history of climbing in Oklahoma as told through the voices of first ascensionists and those that have followed. It’s a look at the personalities, the areas, and the routes that have etched themselves into Oklahoma climbing lore. These tales, told in personal interview format, are about routes climbed, trips taken, lessons learned, and legends created. It’s a look at the lifestyle of climbers who’ve cultivated a niche in the most unlikely of places for rock climbing, a place often overlooked as having any stone at all.

In the coming days there will be further announcements, including a website and Kickstarter page.

This is a big project, a worthwhile documentary, and a part of Oklahoma history at climbing history at large – I’m hoping to have community support to see it through. All keep you posted.

For inquires, questions, etc. please contact:
Aaron Gibson

 

 

Charons Gardens Wilderness Area in WMWR Temporarily Closed – Excessive Heat and Dangerous Conditions

EmergencyClosure_CharonsGardenWA_0711

Due to the extreme heat conditions in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the Refuge has decided to temporarily close the Charons Gardens Wilderness Area until further notice. Recently, there has been a number of heat-related incidents due to hikers and other day users that have resulted in Refuge personnel having to perform rescues. Rescues in this heat put a significant toll on the Rangers as they have to subject themselves to the heat in order to perform these rescues.

For the safety of the public and Refuge personnel we ask that everyone please respect the temporary closure during this excessive period of high temperatures.

If visiting other areas of the Refuge please take extra caution to ensure that you are prepared for the heat; plan your day, spend plenty of time in the shade, bring plenty of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Know how to recognize the sign and symptoms of heat-related illnesses (http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ItsHotOutHere) and treatment.

Adidas Rock Stars Event at Area 47

Adidas is jumping feet first into the bouldering competition world with the Adidas Rock Stars event at Area 47 in Austria. This event drew my attention for several reasons – first because it looks like it will be a high profile event with some serious climbing talent. Adidas is sponsoring it which means some good financial backing and very professional. The venue, called “Area 47” is at the entrance of Tirol’s famous Oetztal valley – and features a number of outdoor recreational sports besides climbing. It looks like a giant playground to do all kinds of crazy stuff.

Again, just another way of climbing becoming a little more recognizable to some heavy hitter brands. And it’s events like this that help sustain our sport, allow others to appreciate it, and make it possible for more people to support themselves through climbing.

Adidas Rock Stars Event

The event will also feature live music during the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing closer to being in Olympics

It was recently announced that climbing made the short list of 8 sports to be included in the 2020 Olympic games.

You can read more about it here.

This is the closest that climbing has ever been to becoming an Olympic sport. Given the number of recent World Cup competitions in the USA it’s no surprise that climbing is finally being looked at as a significant contender. In the past three years we’ve hosted a World Cup bouldering competition in Vail, CO and this year we’ll see the first World Cup sport climbing competition since the 1980s!

Competitive climbing (bouldering, speed and sport) has positioned itself as a growing youth sport – which makes it that much more attractive to the Olympic committee.

So what can WE do to promote climbing and get it in the Olympics? Well, USA Climbing Executive Director, Keith Ferguson said that first and foremost we can attend the World Cup events hosted here in the USA, and if we are unable to attend, we should log-in, whenever possible, to watch the live feeds of climbing competitions. This can be done through the USA Climbing site and through the IFSC website. The number of viewers or hits that a live or recorded feed is used to show popularity. And those numbers are part of the equation to demonstrate how many viewers climbing can generate.

It’s going to be important to start a buzz about climbing becoming an Olympic sport. We need to support our local USA Climbing teams – like the Oklahoma Climbing Team – and those organizations that support competitive climbing – like USA Climbing.

It’s also worth mentioning, on a local level, that Rocktown Climbing Gym is positioning itself to becoming the location of a world-class venue suitable for Olympic level events and an Olympic training facility. More on this in future postings.

For the time being, let’s keep focused on elevating climbing to the level it deserves – let’s push for seeing it in the Olympics – wherever that may be – in 2020.

Gym Projects

I’ve been working for the past few weeks on a few projects at the gym (http://rocktowngym.com), and while this update might be better suited for the Rocktown blog, this is more about the personal work experienced, so it’s being posted here.

The initial project began months ago. The plan was to design a climb from scratch that would consist of a number of major “features” which would be built and attached to the walls. In addition, the silo walls would need to be cleaned, all holes hammer drilled, drop-ins placed, anchors attached, etc. etc. – the usual amount of work for a typical route at Rocktown PLUS the added work of building at least three large features, attaching them, and then setting the route. The problem is that I typically attack a project as if I can do it in a week or so. In other words, I often underestimate the amount of work that I’ve taken on. The other issue I have is that once started, I find it an obligation to complete a project no mater what. This results in weeks (or months) of work – highs and lows – frustrations and solutions. But it works for me. With this initial project, creating three individual and unique features – all at least 6 feet in height – would be quite a chore. The first feature was an enormous triangle feature measuring about 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. This thing was a monster. The biggest chore was hauling it up the wall 60 feet and attaching it. If I think too long about all the things that could have gone wrong with lifting this thing that high using ropes, pulleys and brute strength, my heart skips a beat.

The second feature was the most reasonable of the three – a low profile diamond shaped feature that was about 6 feet by 3 feet. This feature was much easier to place – likely because it was lower on the wall so there was less lifting/pulling involved.

The final feature was the most complicated. The feature itself was actually constructed by making three identical pieces and fitting them together. This final feature measure 12 feet in length and 4 feet wide and had the shape of an airplane wing! It has a large concave curve and angles down into the wall. There’s nothing but texture on it and it’s attached in such a manner that you must press into it and smear your way up it. it is by far the most impressive thing I’ve ever constructed and one of the more difficult things too.

Each of these features were attached to the wall and the route was built through them. In total, it took me about 6 weeks of work – this is the longest I’ve spent building a single artificial climbing route. The name of the route is “The Feature Presentation.”

The second major project I began and have (almost) finished, is becoming known as the Training Room. This room, also a brand new room, contains a campus board, hangboard system, Roman chair for leg lifts and dips, and will soon contain a peg board. The room has a drop ceiling and a padded floor like what you might find at a gymnastics gym.

The third project which was just finished took about a week. We stripped all the holds from the bouldering room, filled some cracks and imperfections, re-painted the walls, and replaced the holds. This gave a nice face-lift to one of our most popular rooms at the gym.

I’m at a brief stopping point before I decide what the next series of projects is going to be.

Today I officially started a new film/video project

It’s not official unless I posted it somewhere, right? So if I post it here then it means I have started it and therefore must continue it. That’s just the way it goes.

So what is the project? Over the course of the next few months I will be interviewing Oklahoma climbers about their experiences with climbing in Oklahoma. Most notably will be those who established Oklahoma climbing for what it is today. This is going to be sort of an historical look at the development of climbing in the state but more than that it is meant to examine the people, the personalities, and their stories.

This is not a “climbing video,” this is a documentary. Of course, I want to feature the places, the routes, and the people together, but the point is more about the people and the unique community of climbers that has developed here.

At this time it’s too early to call this documentary anything other than an Oklahoma Climbers/Climbing documentary – but I’m sure I’ll come up with something over time.

I did my first interview (profile) today – with Russell Hooper – that’s what kicked it off. I look forward to many more interviews and a rewarding learning experience.

Tread Lightly to Protect Access – Access Fund

Some climbers miss the point. Even some friends of mine make some poor decisions when it comes to “treading lightly” and respecting the privilege that rock climbing on public and private lands is.

I like this drawing on the Access Fund’s website that depicts many of the poor decisions that we, as climbers, can make. It’s a reminder to pay more attention to what you are doing when you go climbing. Be conscious of your impact. Be respectful of others. Be careful with nature. Give climbing and climbers a good rep and we’ll get to keep doing what we love.

Tread Lightly to Protect Access – Access Fund.