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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Winter Sessions DVD

Review by planetFear
Thursday 18th January 2007
Winter Sessions is the second video dedicated entirely to bouldering in the Peak District, the first being Ben Pritchard and Ben Moon's 1994 classic "One Summer". While technology has moved on considerably since One Summer Winter Sessions shares the same homemade look and feel. Winter Sessions was filmed over two winters by Crabstix Productions and is an accurate representation of what it is like to go out bouldering on any given weekend on any given crag. People fall off, say stupid things, wobble and slap their way up problems.

One of the highlights is Ben Moon's first ascent of Voyager, 8b which is followed by hotshot Tyler Landman's second ascent. Unfortunately we never get to see a close up of the holds - maybe this is because it is assumed that all the viewers will have seen them at first hand? The film also features Sam Whittaker, Jerry Moffat, Jon Fullwood, Ben Bransby, Adam Long and Leo Houlding among others.

On the plus side in the 1 hour 45 minutes of this DVD there is huge amount of bouldering, about 120 problems are climbed, some are well known classics others a bit more esoteric. The camera work is very straightforward but in spite of this the problems look excellent. However I'm not sure that seeing a few climbers do the same problem in succession really adds anything apart from length to this DVD. The main film is 70 minutes long with 20 minutes of extras and 15 minutes of outtakes.

The graphics are ugly but maybe this is ironic. Either way I didn't like them. The sound track is low profile and unobtrusive electronica. This low key approach to the soundtrack is best as you can never satisfy all tastes.

Winter Sessions pales in comparison with other recently released DVDs in terms of a professional polished product. It will be best appreciated by those looking for inspiration for or beta on mid to hard Peak District bouldering. Considering the popularity of bouldering in the Peak this is probably not as small a niche as it might appear. Others should look elsewhere.

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