In the winter of 2013, talented climber Alex Johnson made a full throttle commitment to tackling The Swarm (V13)—a highball boulder problem in Bishop’s Buttermilks that powerfully infatuated her from the moment she laid eyes on it. That season, Alex moved to Bishop; fully engaging herself into the process and putting in countless hours and attempts on the line.
While Alex made significant progress, The Swarm evolved into a multi-year project—one with ups and downs that she shared publicly through social media; undoubtedly adding a layer of external pressure.
In this interview with Alex in September of 2014, she told us:
When it’s ‘go time’ for The Swarm for me, it’s really serious … and all of the pressure just comes from myself. Sometimes you get the illusion that other people are putting pressure on you, but it’s just made up in your head.
While The Swarm remains an unfinished battle for Alex—one that she remains eager to complete—she has certainly learned and developed as a climber in the process. This film captures the steps of her journey and what all climbers can learn from the beautiful “art of failure.”
Related: 5×5 Revelations with Alex Johnson