Unless you’ve been living under a rock, which—to be honest—wouldn’t be the weirdest thing for a climber, you’ve heard of the world record artificial route Janja Garnbret and Domen Škofic have sent in Slovenia. The route was named The Neverending Story and was located in a town called Trbovlje on a 360-meter tall concrete chimney which happens to be the second-tallest chimney in Europe. Their feat was an absolutely amazing show of climbing since the route was 13 pitches long with the grades going up to 8b+. If you haven’t yet, it is highly recommended you watch the Red Bull documentary that shows their incredible journey up the chimney!
Now let’s back up. There was a 360-meter long artificial route set on a concrete chimney! If you’ve ever set a single route in your life, you know how hard of a job it is to set even a 10-meter long route in a climbing gym. Imagine setting a 360-meter long route and now, as if that’s not enough, imagine doing it on a concrete chimney! How does one even fix climbing holds to concrete? How do you access such a route? How do you forerun it? How many holds do you need for such a bizarre route? Is there such thing as a 360 meters tall lift or do you need 720 meters of rope?
Who even wants to dedicate their time and energy to such a feat? Well, apparently the 360 Holds team does. The world record route was set by a Slovenian team behind the climbing holds brand 360 Holds. Everything from the technical point of the route was made by them. It was in fact Simon Margon, the co-owner of 360 Holds, that had the idea to set the route in the first place.
After Red Bull’s release of the documentary about Janja and Domen’s ascent, 360 Holds have now released a short behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the world record route. The movie is called The Making of 360 Ascent and is available on YouTube. It takes us through the whole process, coming up with an idea, putting it down on paper, shaping especially designed holds, producing those holds, inventing a special routesetting basket, fixing up ropes, cleaning the chimney, setting and forerunning the route. As you can imagine, setting such a route also brings along some dramatic moments, like a safety rope tearing or getting caught in the rain and the documentary shows all of it. The second half of the movie also takes us through the preparation of the camera crew that also had their share of troubles working with the height of the chimney and its exposure.
The Making of 360 Ascent is truly a unique look into what it took to create and film the world’s longest artificial climbing route and the people behind the camera who made it happen. If you were blown away by what Janja and Domen had accomplished, you’ll surely also be blown away by the work that was put into making it possible.
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