The Friday Psyche is back for the New Year, bigger and better than ever. Well, bigger at least, since this week’s entertainment is an hour long video on the history of climbing in Lander, Wyoming. It’s a very good film and, I think, would have some interest for both climbers and non-climbers alike–at least non-climbers who wonder what their climbing friends do with all of their time. It’s also very, very similar to what my life consisted of from the late 80s to late 90s. Different people, different places, much better rock quality (and worse town quality) than me but it’s more or less the same deal for any group of people psyched enough on climbing to try and make a lifestyle out of it. I always wanted to make a film like this. Back then, shooting on film, it was too expensive since I didn’t think the outside world would be interested enough. I’m still not sure they are, but at least it’s cheap to shoot and edit these day and we have the ‘net as a venue. I’m happy to help them promote.
It wouldn’t be a proper post without a personal anecdote, so here ya go. Todd Skinner, the main protagonist of this story, lobbied hard for me to move to Lander in the early 90s each time we saw each other. We were in no way close friends, I think we only climbed together once, but he was so ridiculously psyched on this place I figured he was hitting up everyone. He got me thinking about it, too, as you couldn’t help but listen. Plus, you could buy a decent house there for 20 grand (I lived in Santa Barbara). But it was way sleepier than it is today (and it’s sleepy now). I didn’t think I could hack it.
Anyway, Skinner was awesome to be around because whatever he was doing was “the best”. “It’s the best line I’ve ever done (pause), best I’ve ever seen (longer pause), best I ever will see,” was his standard answer about whatever his latest climbing project was. It didn’t matter if it was the Trango Tower in Pakistan or a 40’ route in his backyard. He was always psyched, which couldn’t help but get you psyched, too.
Without further ado, enjoy the best movie on a climbing community I’ve ever seen, ever dreamed about, ever could dream about.