A trip out to Cave Creek in the Sam's Throne Region of the Ozark National Forest marks the start of Danny Henkel's documentation of the Arkansas climbing scene. Over 2016 he will be spearheading production to capture the never-told stories and journeys of the ever-growing Arkansas climbing community alongside the rocks that act as canvas for their art.
Without further ado, here's a taste of the upcoming climbAR documentary, utilizing footage from their first day of filming. George Bieker and Thomas Gaston take on Brick Attack, a 5.12a five star climb.
Exploring Cave Creek, The Season for Climbing is Now
by George Bieker, FC Athlete & SpeaKout Writer
This past weekend marked the change in seasons for our kind, the rock junkies. Since here in Arkansas “Rocktober” is a little warm, we're stoked November has finally come. No longer do we have to fight the landscape and the time of day for shade. For what seemed like an eternity we were like lizards in the desert. As the temperatures soared we devised climbing plans to take into account the aspect, the time of day to chase the shade. That was then. Now we embrace the weather, the midday sun's warmth, the cold hands, the feeling of leaves beneath our feet. The excitement builds.
We have waited for what seems like an eternity for this, the peak of the climbing season. We have dreamed of certain climbs, certain movements, certain grades. We have dreamed of testing ourselves against the stone. We have fallen, we have bled, we have trained and we have sweat all for these moments. The storm before the calm. We have yearned all year round on artificial walls, on rock rings, and on campus boards for the feeling of flow.
The focus that we now achieve on the wall is like nothing else. Our own little bubble in the sky. A place so far detached from the mundane of everyday life. So far away from smart phones and LCD monitors. A place where nothing else matters.
No drama, no emails, no tweets. There are no depressing headlines or traffic lights. There is only you. You and the rock. A place of serenity, a place of fear, but most of all a place of experience.
Wherever we go, to the boulders, to the mountains, or somewhere in between…
However we climb, on the rock, the snow, or the ice…
We are the sharp end.
We are a tribe.
And there is no better time than now.
Photography and film work by Danny Henkel.