You see lots of videos about some climber crushing one of the world’s hardest routes, but you never see anything about the person who dedicated his life to perfecting the harness that kept that climber alive. We watch top athletes climb in World Cup bouldering competitions, but we never see what goes into creating those problems. What we aren’t seeing is a group of passionate people whose craftwork is helping to make it all possible.
These are the stories we want to capture in the Climbing’s Craft Makers series. There is this whole other side of climbing you don’t see everyday, but we think it deserves some attention. We want to go behind the scenes and learn about what goes into making some of the things we as climbers use every day and the people making it all.
We plan on documenting seven different craft makers, releasing one part of the series roughly every month. Some of the crafts we’ll be capturing include shaping climbing holds, the art of route setting, and stitching handmade climbing harnesses. But it’s also about the stories of the people behind the crafts, like Erick Barros and Nick Lanphier of Dirtbag Climbers, who are sewing handmade chalk bags after hours and between jobs, helping to build a tight community of southeast climbers through their brand.
This documentary series is something we are really excited about creating and sharing with the climbing community, but we need some help to make it happen. We want to share these videos with the world, and the best way to do that is to make them free to watch. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help production budgets. And while the featured businesses will certainly get a bit of advertising out of it, they aren’t paying for this, nor are we asking them to. We want to make this series because we find the people and craftwork in these shops fascinating and worthy of their own feature.
Our project is live on Kickstarter now through July 8th. If everybody who is interested in this project donates just $2, there’s a very good chance we’ll be able to produce Climbing’s Craft Makers. So if you share our interest in seeing behind the scenes of climbing, show your support and help us make this thing a reality!