Climbing Photography – for when other routes are too wet.

I have been climbing outdoors for five to six years and during this time I have enjoyed both climbing photography and taking video. The two biggest challenges I face are how to keep myself in place and how to be confident that I will stay where I am. This requires trusting the climbing harness, the little cow (petite vache) and other safety equipment.

Climbing Photography
Climbing Photography

Yesterday with the group I climb with every thursday we went outside towards the St Loup climbing route. As it had rained recently many of the climbing routes were wet and slippery. When I put my foot down I felt that it was not going to hold if I continued to climb and so I said to a fellow climber whom I know from my diving days that if this was a dive I would call it. I would abort it.

I took advantage of this situation to climb where a top rope had been placed and then secured myself about three quarters of the way up the route on a ledge. From this vantage point both my hands were free so if I had taken my main video camera or DSLR photo camera I could have had some nice footage of group members climbing up this route. As the sun was setting the shutter speed was slow. I did manage to get a few good images nonetheless. With the flash the images look as if they’re from a caving trip rather than climbing.

If the weather is good on Sunday I should be able to practice more of these skills in an old quarry where climbing routes are set up. It’s easy to get images from the ground but to get images from the climber’s eye level or above is more of a challenge. I will have fun practicing this skill.

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