YAHOOOOOOO! The new patagonia Tin Shed has been released. Yesterday around 3pm. I’ve only had time to watch three or four shorts so far, but they are incredibly well done, moving, inspiring, funny, historical and most of all beautiful. Last year when the Tin Shed site was released, it won an award for it’s authenticity, design and creativity, beating out the likes of Nike, Coke and other big name companies. The Tin Shed is brought to you by a very hard working team “in house” at patagonia headquarters in Ventura, CA. This small, but incredibly talented group of climbers, skiers, surfers, carpenters, writers and photographers and mountain life enthusiasts, has pumped out another outstanding installment. I know what I’ll be doing over breakfast. Check it out for yourselves.
So by far my favorite clip is the short movie about SUPERCRACK. (Check out those hexes). It’s a magnificent film blending original climbing footage from the historic 1976 ascent with modern day interviews and pictures. The audio at the very beginning is enough to make my hair standup at the back, it sounds like two climbers (ANY ERA you choose) talking about the risk involved in doing this route. It sounds exactly like a conversation I had about a route that was in “question” regarding it’s safe factor not very long ago. I was so blown away by the rising sun and SPIRIT in which these climbers climbed. It goes to show that the gear has changed, the techniques, even the media, but the spirit remains the same.
Here is a short obituary I found on earl Wiggins if you feel like reading.
“EARL WIGGINS was a rock climber best known for his cutting-edge ascents in the Utah Canyonlands during the mid-1970s. He reached a much wider audience, however, with his work for the cinema. Audiences for many of the Hollywood “blockbuster” action movies of the last decade will have unwittingly admired his skillful handiwork in helping to arrange and film stunt sequences.
Wiggins hailed from a school of radical American desert climbers who are widely credited with helping to shape the laid-back minimalist style – the “rope and the rack and the shirt on our back” approach – which characterized the golden age of Seventies American rock climbing. The main aim was to pare down the climbing equipment paraphernalia carried on climbs, and ascend difficult routes in the purest athletic style possible. Wiggins was one of an elite group who sometimes took this to its logical limit, soloing desperately hard routes without a rope or running belays to catch him should he fall. A bold climber right from the start, he soloed the extreme climb Outer Limits in Yosemite at the age of 16, followed by Whimsical Dreams at Turkey Rock, Colorado, and, in 1980, the 14-pitch climb Scenic Cruise in Utah’s Black Canyon, completing this hard and dangerous climb in just an hour and a half.
Arguably Wiggins’s finest moment came in 1976 when he made the first ascent of the world-famous Supercrack in Utah’s Indian Creek Canyon. A strenuous and much-photographed route, it can only be climbed using a specialized technique climbers call “jamming”. By shaping their fists into a boxing-style clench, climbers literally “jam” them into wide cracks, along with their feet, and haul themselves upwards using friction.
Today, it is possible to arrange a degree of protection on such types of climb by using expandable camming devices, but back in 1976 Wiggins had to rely mostly on his faith in his strength and stamina to down-climb if he got into difficulty. Putting this achievement into context, the desert-climbing veteran Annie Carrera commented, “Protecting surgically perfect parallel-sided cracks without a full rack of `Friends’ [modern camming devices] was a form of Russian roulette that few chose to pursue.” The US climbing legend Henry Barber later described Wiggins’s ascent as “groundbreaking”; in the pre-cam era this could have easily have been literally true.
Earl Wiggins, rock climber, film-stunt rigger/cameraman and producer: born Colorado Springs 24 August 1957; married; died Lake Oswego, Oregon 28 December 2002.”
Colin Wells, I believe.