At last our #TheLastHoneyHunter story is now live in print within the current issue and online featured on @natgeo homepage today! Such a rewarding journey to shoot stills for my first 'yellow book' feature story. ~
Although we have shot from ropes before the challenges of documenting this dying tradition were unimaginable. For a deeper look into the trails and tribulations that went into the article and ultimate film check out be @thenorthface behind the scenes edit by @taylorfreesolo in my profile. Also looking forward to sharing the film by @ben_knight publicly as well after it finishes the festival run! ~
One morning on the glacier, over freeze dried oatmeal and coffee, @alexhonnold mentioned that it seemed pretty brutal last night coming from my tent which was next to his. He asked why @taylorfreesolo was chewing me out for hours, not even letting me get a word in. Little did he know she was reading to me out loud, like I ask her to do from time to time, about her favorite scintillating topics - climate change, social justice, indigenous land rights, food systems and water conflicts. Alex, one tent away, read about the history of oil and the end of poverty. The two of them bantered like brother and sister throughout the trip on these issues and others, Alex being the energy-efficiency vegetarian who sees everything quite matter-of-fact and Taylor who empathizes with individual people with complicated backgrounds who don't all get the same seat at the table. I found myself seeing the value of both sides and of these kinds of conversations in general. Maybe one of the best parts of waiting out storms is getting into the hearts and minds of your friends. @thenorthface@sonyalpha#a7rii@sigmaphoto#sigma1224mm#thegreatgorge
101 15,551 6
Cloud nine. So you've just completed one of the wildest climbs of all time, freesoloing El Cap... what's next? @alexhonnold launched full force into Alaska, with the objective of free climbing the Wine Bottle route on Mt Dickey with myself and @freddiewilkinson, but what really came next was the patient game of waiting for elusive weather windows, reading books, and endless banter amongst friends by the constant roar of stoves melting snow for water. Although conditions didn't allow us to get on our big audacious objective, we put up a few new free routes on the lower formations, ones that weren't latticed in melting ice. And we also got a few opportunities in the sunny glacial fog for a shirtless Hon photoshoot. ~
In my mind, the west-side line of peaks rising out of the Ruth Glacier holds a special fascination. They are among the largest rock formations on the planet, continuously stacked one after another, dressed in their best formal attire of hanging glaciers and summit snow flutings. Although this place is larger than the Grand Canyon it's still a little known wonder of the US, as most the attention is given to Denali, looming above. Looking forward to climbing here the next few weeks for a @thenorthface expedition and continuing to document it's majesty! @alexhonnold@freddiewilkinson@firstname.lastname@example.org@camp4collective@sonyalpha@talkeetnaair@denalinps ~
Packing for the Ruth Gorge again. The familiar rapid accruing of chaos - climbing gear, food, clothing and cameras getting duffle shuffled around. Then, when you finally hit the glacier, the reverse happens. Stripping down to the absolute minimum needed to survive when you pack the final backpack for the climb itself. ~
Pictured here - Zack Smith on the Tooth Traverse a while back. Zack is an incredible tactician for this type of climbing, always weighing out gear gram by gram with a micro scale in basecamp. It can really make the difference on such ascents with no porters and you're a small team carrying your own weight through the vertical world. ~
Zack was carrying my backpack on this climb and he discovered a microphone that I had hidden, unweighed, in the top of my pack. I was out on lead just far enough away but a long smug look was exchanged before we kept climbing to this memorial bivy spot. ~
**full link in profile** The official trailer for MOUNTAIN just dropped! Very proud of @jenpeedom and Richard Tognetti the director of the @austchamberorchestra for spearheading this collab between so many artists to bring this to life! ~
As part of the process over the last few years @taylorfreesolo and I spent a few weeks with them in Niseko Japan working on the edit in within the deep snow and peaceful landscape. I already knew Jen had a fierce adventure mountain spirit from my time with her on the SHERPA film and it as exciting to discover the same in Richard. I don't think I've seen anybody as psyched for a power day, running through the snowstorms with this 10 million dollar 1743 "Carrodus" violin in a hard case, bouncing between the slopes, the edit and local performances. The spirit of the mountains runs deep within his music and is a huge factor in what makes this project a unique musical and cinematic journey.
Nepal Director of @dzifoundation, film producer, and upstanding member of Kathmandu's oldest motorcycle gang -- "Shiva's Slaves" @jetbutterflies takes a break on the back side of the Himalayas to wring out his socks. ~
Congrats man! @alexhonnold made climbing history today with his rope-less ascent of 'the freerider' on @yosemitenps's El Cap. It's about 3,000 ft tall with difficulties up to 5.13a. This type of mastery of craft and mind is a next level of inspiration. Glad you survived and we get to go vacation climbing in Alaska next week! ~
**survey link in profile** Photo by @taylorfreesolo, who lately has brought up the point that in this day and age it's really hard to choose a career, especially one that is impactful on the earth in a good way. I'd have to say my model has involved a lot of luck as well as privilege, getting me to the place where I can share stories that I find important for a living. I don't think there is a magic formula. Sometimes you need to "follow your dreams" and go off the map, and other times a solid 9-5 job will give you the financial security to have a good balance or support a family. I studied science in college but later chose a path of art, film and climbing. All along the way I had friends and mentors who helped. Maybe others, male or female, who are in the middle of trying to figure out these questions would be interested in the online group Taylor is forming to host dialogues around creativity, collaborations and careers **specifically surrounding environmental and humanitarian work** Link in profile of an initial survey if you want to get involved.
109 22,953 2
Lucky strike. This was the first 8K @reddigitalcinema shot on location for the @natgeochannel#Explorer show "The Yellow Brick Road". The story exposes the true path of conflict gold that is used for our jewelry, our phones and computers. Our journey started here in Goma and went on to visit warlords deep in the jungle of North Kivu as well as government certified 'conflict free' gold mines and other parts of the supply chain. In this particular location we saw the drastic differences in wealth in the community generated from the gold and other minerals. The official stats in how much gold comes out of North Kivu is zero, but we filmed quite the opposite. There is a quite a lot to this important story... If you missed the show on TV Monday night I think it is available online soon. ~
Very excited for the next big adventure coming up here in my happy place - The Ruth Gorge -with @alexhonnold@freddiewilkinson and friends. These are among the largest walls in the world, with the 5,000 ft east face of Mt Dickey, which also extends 4,000 ft beneath the glacier! One of the things that really draws me to this place is the fact that the glaciers are still so thick and alive, something you don't get in the Himalaya which look more melted out and suffering from climate change. But not even these glaciers will last forever if we don't act now. ~
Echoing @thenorthface - Today, we remain strongly opposed to the president pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement. We are maintaining our commitments both to our customers and global community to continue to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment to a global economy that limits global temperature rise.
61 15,204 7
Our multi-year feature documentary collaboration 'MOUNTAIN' is ready to share, having its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House on June 12th! ~
This film explores the very nature of human attraction to the mountains. I don't know if I can compare this to anything I've ever been a part of - it's a cinematic and musical collaboration to be performed with a live score by the acclaimed @austchamberorchestra, whose fearless leader Richard Tognetti put together the music including Chopin, Grieg, Vivaldi, Beethoven and his own original compositions. ~
To top it off, after doing many rounds of narration myself I was also greatly relieved when @willem.dafoe 's voice became the final puzzle piece to hugely elevate the film! ~
I'm not sure when it will be fully available for public consumption, but I'll keep y'all posted! ~ "Only three centuries ago, setting out to climb a mountain would have been considered close to lunacy. The idea scarcely existed that wild landscapes might hold any sort of attraction. Mountains were places of peril, not beauty. An upper world to be shunned, not sought out. How then have mountains now come to hold us spellbound, drawing us into their dominion, often at the cost of our lives?" - celebrated British writer, Robert Macfarlane, who also wrote the VO for the film.
This is not a paid post - but it is part of a Memorial Day brand film I Directed and DP'd - and an ode to vets that directly supports families of those who have fallen. ~
The concept was to surprise a group of vets in the desert with the first batch of a special Bud camo aluminum bottle by dropping them out of a C130 with a magic GPS guided parachute... the beer was brewed by vets who work at the Budweiser factory with the individual names of the recipients engraved on them. A % of the bottles sold to the public go to scholarships with the @foldsofhonor program, which amounts to millions of $$. ~
When the moment of truth came, and the 500lb load fell from the sky, over a 100 person production team scrambled across the desert floor, sky divers with REDs on their heads flew, helicopters circled filming aerials, the whole nine yards... it all came back to capturing a moment in real time that couldn't be recreated - the human emotional reaction to the surprise in true documentary style. Hope you get to watch the piece to see those moments at the end :) ~
Although I have little understanding of the military, I learned a lot from the 20+ vets that day - about the community it builds and how often the lessons these individuals learn revolve around caring about foreign places and cultures - not to just engaging war with them. ~
Where does the gold in your cell phone, computer or jewelry come from? Excited the share the @natgeochannel#explorer "Yellow Brick Road" episode that airs tonight at 10 est / 9C ! See link in profile 🏻 ~
Meeting Congolese 'rebels' like tanks women was the turning point where I tossed my stereotypes and cultural assumptions over my shoulder. ~
@taylorfreesolo and I almost bailed on the trip to look at the path of conflict gold. First up on the shoot itinerary was 'meet warlord of rebel-held gold mine' via a 220km 4x4 landcruiser debacle through the jungle, passing competing rebel territories on the way. Yes it was seriously sketchy... we had to keep emergency grab bags within arms reach at all times that contained a trauma-wound kit and simple survival needs in case we got ambushed and had to run on foot into the jungle away from gunfire. ~
But upon arrival, the situation of the MAC 'rebel' group (Movement for Action and Change) looked a lot like the peaceful villages I've seen in the jungles of Nepal. We met and interviewed the warlord, hoping for lines from him about defending his territory and why they arm themselves, but he was super soft spoken and just wanted to show us the school and agriculture projects underway. Before this trip I personally had no idea that 6 million people have died in Congo in recent times - the struggle to survive here is complicated and the guns are the safeguard they seem to need for protection but also for personal gains. The AK47s were spread equally between women and men. I think they tripled the guard for our arrival but all with friendly smiles.
Adventure is often seen as climbing the highest mountain in the furthest off place. But in this day and age it has to be more than that - defined by people who are uncompromising in the way they fight to help others and the planet. That why I deeply believe @ishusha@vboshui are the most adventurous duo in the family. Lots of love to for you two as you continue this life together! 🥂
Pictured here is the hand woven bamboo rope used by Mauli Dhan, the last honey hunter, during the honey harvest. After hundreds of small 3 foot pieces of bamboo are braided into this coil, it is hung above the fireplace in order to build up a dark resin that repels jungle insects. Then the 200 foot 100 pound stack is hauled to the cliff. Finally, the last step before Mauli trusts his life to the rope is to get it wet, making it supple again. ~
Sending gratitude to the whole team who collaborated to share this beautiful practice! #inthespiritofrongkemi ~
Heading East to see my sister @ishusha marry her best friend @vboshui, in a big celebration with all our family and friends. couldn't be more excited!!! Simultaneously a little heartbroken to be missing the tribe this weekend at @mountainfilm for the premiere of #TheLastHoneyHunter. Sending my best and wishing I could be there. Hope everyone who sees it feels as moved as we all did. Words by film director @ben_knight!! ~
The color orange taking hold of a sunrise through the old temples of Bagan, Myanmar. During our @natgeo expedition we traversed nearly the entire length of the country, from the most popular tourist destinations pictured here to the Himalayan mountains climbing close to the most Northern point. I was left with a feeling of appreciation for all the diverse landscapes and cultures who were enlivened with hope in the tense period of political change. ~
**link in profile** Northern lights, drones, low lights cameras and surfers willing to go out in -20° winter conditions. A little behind-the-scenes look at the low percentage moment where the dream came true to shoot surfing under the northern lights for the 'Under An Arctic Sky' film. ~
See you at the Salt Lake City screening tmr, Tuesday night! Tickets are still left! ~
The metal gymnastics of mountain climbing. @authormarkjenkins heading back down into the clouds on Hkakabo Razi after dropping a load of gear at 18K ft camp 1. Mark had tried this mountain 15 years ago with two of his best friends who later died, one of them in his arms. Now he was headed back with a photo of his friends in his pocket that he intended to place on the summit. It would honor them and be a step toward the closure of their deaths. But at the same time it would add a layer of complexity to the team dynamic on this remote and stressful climb. ~
@coryrichards surrendering to a moment of exhaustion during an attempt on the still unclimbed SW Ridge of Hkakabo Razi in the Burmese Himalaya. What I love about Cory, besides him being such a fun partner in creativity, is his ability to lay it all on the table and be exposed physically and emotionally through the twists and turns of life's chaos. If you guys aren't following him and @adrianballinger on insta or #everestnofilter on snapchat, head over for some live action from the roof of the world! #happybirthdaybuddy
44 17,014 6
Photo by @ben_knight // The monsoon rains had washed out the bridge as well as the access to the last honey hunter cliff - so the bamboo jungle masters kicked into action building a new one. ~
Where would any of us be without our heroes - @ben_knight and his partner in filmmaking @travisrummel .
These two friends and individuals were a big part of my original inspiration for pursuing film as a means of art, after seeing their work at @mountainfilm. ~
During the shoot since I was on stills for @natgeo, Ben took the helm for video and has subsequently poured himself into crafting our complicated cultural story in the edit cave. Not to mention he took a number of incredible stills, some of which are also to be published in the magazine article! ~
With the 'Last Honey Hunter' screening in just a few weeks @mountainfilm things have come full circle. ~
Magical end of day light after a day of cragging in the Bears Ears. Official comment period on Bears Ears National Monument ends on May 26. Hit the the link in my profile from @accessfund and let your voice be heard to protect this special place!! @taylorfreesolo@katuddenham@baloointhewild
We can never convey thank you enough to our mothers and grandmothers, whether biological or not, who selflessly take us under their wing and help us fly. Lots of love to amazing moms all around the globe today! ~
Video from our recently released mom film 'Denali's Raven' -- link still in profile -- @talkeetnaair taxi pilot and super-mom Leighan Falley AKA 'The Raven' taking her daughter 'Sky' for a flight in the mighty Alaska range. ~
@chrisburkard scrambling for a shot under the biggest 'pulse' of Northern Lights during the 'Under An Arctic Sky' film. The tour showing the 40 min cut is in full effect in cities all across the US. Check out www.underanarcticsky.com to find out the full schedule. Salt Lake City is screening on the 23rd!
125 22,272 2
Happy to see @thenorthface taking steps toward sustainability! - "We’re spending time today strongly urging government leaders to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The North Face, along with the global economy, is moving to a low-carbon, energy and resource efficient model. Action on climate change is not only in the best interest of our company – to stay competitive and protect our outdoor playgrounds – it’s also in service to future generations, including young athletes and explorers. As a signatory of Business Backs Low-Carbon USA and a member of BICEP since 2009, we power our headquarters with 100% renewable electricity, offset 100% of our emissions, and will continue to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment to a global economy that limits global temperature rise." Video: @sanctityofspace film collection
**film link in profile** "DENALI'S RAVEN" ~ "My mom flew, my sister flew, Leighan flys....and little Sky with a name like that is going to have to fly!" - Father and fellow pilot Tom Falley ~