Sunday, 17 June 2007

Part 3: Filming Epics

At last, a week late, I find time to write up the final episode of the North Wales filming trip. In fact, I was browsing through the photographs and realised there were more I wanted to flaunt across the Interwebnet, so I will need to be creative with the threads of a story to weave them together. Bear with me...

So the Big Film Day arrived. It seemed that Dave had been lining up appointments with climbers nicely (by now I was starting to understand his talent for logistics!) and we had fixtures with Jude Spanken first, onsighting Lord of the Flies, followed closely (but on the hillside opposite) by Dave Macleod on Trauma.

For Jude's onsight I was stationed at the belay - a lovely wee spot in the sun for a while, where I got a good view of the....er.... underneath of both climber and camera crew.
Looking up the length of Cenotaph Corner

In order to rig this, Diff led Cenotaph Corner, and I seconded (actually, maybe this was on our recce mission the day before...). What a great route! I feel as though I cocked it up a little bit by being a bit freaked by the exposure, and letting my usual fear of corners get in the way of enjoying it. The top section felt very sketchy until I realised what I needed to do (i.e. put my head in a box and switch my brain off for about 30 seconds). I need to do it again, once I've given myself a good talking to.

During the 80 minutes or so that Jude hung on to Lord of the Flies (yes, 80 minutes. Now there is some stamina to aspire to!) I took a couple of pictures of the rock, since I was tethered to it, and it wasn't far from my nose. Fascinating stuff, Rhyolite. I've never come across it before. As you can tell from the first picture above, there looks to be nothing whatsoever to hold on to. But once you get a horizontal, close-up view, there's plenty...albeit sometimes small!

Little holly tree in a pocket. Future belay point?

Very bizarre rock, Rhyolite

After Jude's roaring success we legged it down the hill, via the car for some warm water and a minor re-pack, and up the other side to Trauma. There was certainly trauma for me when I got walloped by a small rock hurtling down the gully. It missed my head by about 2 inches and bounced off my forearm. Ouch.

Anyway, this was where things got exciting for me. I was stationed at the top of the route, on abseil, with the small camera (it's got some smart name, but I can't remember it. Let's call it handycam for the moment!) to capture Dave's rapturous and relieved face as he topped out. What a moment! I gather I missed all the exciting climbing lower down (because I couldn't see far enough over the edge) but I still think I got the best bit. One hand... then the other hand....and then a face, serene with concentration, appearing as if from the Great Beyond. Magic.
Dave and Diff, in postition on Trauma, waiting for their cue

It was a fabulous day, and by the end of it I fully understood how much hard work it is filming out and about.

When I got home, I then had this mess to deal with:

My (emptied) bags at home....

Having said that filming climbers was hard, today I was tasked with filming Gordon's 4th Birthday Party. Fifteen 4 year olds, a 2 year old and a bouncy castle. Did you know that children this age just RUN? Everywhere. Randomly. It's like some kind of human Brownian Motion. Filming them was a nightmare. Give me an abseil any day! Maybe I was just distracted by the fact that the bouncy castle and said 4 year olds were in Inverness Leisure Centre.... in the very same room as the climbing wall. And I wasn't allowed to play (and I don't mean on the bouncy castle) :-( It was yukky weather so I had a perfect excuse for climbing indoors. Feeling buoyed by a good session at Alien 2 on Saturday, a new wall looked like a good challenge. But it wasn't to be....

Sorry - story-telling skills are sapped tonight after timeout with tiny tots!

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