Words by Nina Caprez.
Last year, I made a wonderful trip to Smith Rock. A voyage that brought back the taste for sport climbing and pushed me back into the athlete lifestyle. To Bolt or Not to Be carries an historic aura. It was love at first sight for me. A line of 40 meters in a perfectly smooth and vertical wall. The route has over one hundred moves, all on tiny crimps.
To climb in it, you need both cold temperatures and really hard skin on the tip of your fingers.
There is not one really hard move but foot positioning is very delicate and varied. If you are slightly off, you are out!
I was able to climb in the route for two days last October, without getting anywhere close to putting it all together. But the route put me in a trance! I loved its beauty, complexity, and its atypical old-school style.
All winter, the line was floating around my mind and I spent quite some time trying to figure out the best way to showcase this demanding project.
I went back to the U.S. at the end of February, bringing along my good friend and old time working partner Julien Nadiras. Julien has had a hand in all of my video projects. He was with me in the Argentinian desert back when I was a young 22 year old trying to beat the Tuzgle boulders. He documented my success in Silbergeier, and was also there behind me when I faced Orbayu.
This time, he tagged along for this North American trip and we have shared climbing and everyday life in Smith Rocks. He witnesses how climbing shapes my life, he sees how I operate, always in the present: either all out when motivation hits me, or quite unable to move when I am not feeling it. I lead a particular life and it is sometimes hard to understand. You have to be there to get it…and Julien manages to capture it all in pictures.
The day I sent To Bolt or Not to Be, it was exactly freezing temperature. I only had spent one day in the route since our arrival there, but that is all that was needed. My friend Ian Yurdin made for a perfect companion. I had no expectations on that day because it had been snowing when we entered the park. But as soon as the sun came out a little, my hunger for climbing surged. The first try without warm up was a promising one and on the second, I was dancing like I have done it only a handful of times in a climbing route.
Climbing is a sport like no other. It is much more than a form of exercise. It is an art, a way of moving and a way of live. I am delighted to have the opportunity to express it in a movie to come.