The elegance of moving with minimal equipment and a calm mind is uplifting. This time was different. My large rucksack with a camera and three lenses weighed me down. I rarely get by with a small camera on trips. A project on such a big face needed to age like fine wine and now the time had come. I had known the route on the face for years, and hopefully I’d get some use out of the years spent at photography school.
„My parents say I’ll go to uni, so I can make something of myself and won’t have to pack crates like my mum.“ (…) „But our little boy would rather climb up mountains, and there’s still no real job in sight.
The logistics were as follows: one mirrorless camera, two lenses, two wireless mics and a GoPro for the boys. In a small but effective team, Stoupa (Dušan Janák) and I will asced the route first, while Tom and Ondra follow behind. We’ll then spit some wisdom about life on the wall, and wait to see if it makes them smile for the camera.
„There are quite a lot of pitches, so there will be time to shoot lots of stuff from different angles, I think to myself. Everything goes according to plan. We are one pitch ahead of the lads with Stoupa, and so I fish for some quality footage. The full-body workout starts in the harder pitches.
I fight up the crux 7b pitch, forcing me to use aid. I place an abalak and a skyhook, and whip straight on the abalak. Try again; better this time. Abalak, skyhook, runout, abalak falls out… thank god I wasn’t aware. After abseiling down to the crux pitch, my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t hold the camera. The mics also stopped working and I started cheering on Tom audibly in the crux section. Under labrotory somewhere on a sport route, that would be unacceptable.
To avoid making it sound like the filming didn’t go very well, I must add that we had very good lighting, good conditions for climbing, and everyone participating learned a lot. The interview, which I left until the bitter end of the last day following a storm was glued together and from it was born a film about the difficulty and beauty of the Fish route.