Sep 072011

Promo shots from the new film: A Fine Line.  All photos by Andrew Kornylak.

A climbing friend once told me about a beautiful, rectangular rock perched on the edge of a rubble strewn slope near the rim of the Owen’s River Gorge. The location was off of the typical Bishop bouldering circuit, in an area called the Sherwin Plateau. We made a special pilgrimage to that boulder, aptly named The Church of the Lost and Found. For some reason, that place, that time, and that climb all came together for me in one perfect moment. It was a technically easy, but the exposure was thrilling and the climb itself was elegant. I can still clearly recall the electric green of the lichen that dusted its face. Improbably, it matched our green Mad Rock bouldering pad at the base of the boulder.

When I think back on that day, it was a perfect afternoon, punctuated by a perfect climb. It’s the kind of day, and climb, that we all look for when we pack up our cars, and fight through Friday night traffic to escape the the vortex of our practical lives. For some of us, days on the rocks and in the wilderness are a weekend thing. For the lucky few, it’s a lifestyle. A Fine Line is a movie that takes us into that sometimes obsessive quest for aesthetic perfection. It’s one season, looking for that perfect boulder, that perfect combination of place and movement.

This full-length film by Andrew Kornylak and Josh Fowler gives us a different take on the climbing life. Interspersed with dreamy climbing sequences and peppered with sage observations, this film delves into the emotional and personal journeys of two climbing friends and their extended crew. This isn’t your typical shirtless crimpfest of a movie. In fact, you won’t even see ratings or climb names in this movie. (So you can stop trying to figure out how hard these guys are climbing and relax already . . .) Less Berserker yells, and more visual poetry, this film strikes closer to home than most. Perhaps because we’re all in some way looking for our own Church of the Lost and Found.

Frustration, anxiety, exhaustion, bad weather, bad timing . . . Yes, you’ll encounter all of these on this journey. But is worth it? Go watch the film for yourself and find out!

A Fine Line – Film Trailer from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.

A Fine Line DVD and online release is set for October 2011 from Dead Point Media at

  3 Responses to “A Fine Line: A Visual Meditation on the Bouldering Life”

  1. Oooooh! so excited to see the rest. It captured me already.

  2. You can buy the DVD online. I just got my copy and plan on watching it with my Kornylak cousins on Thanksgiving when we are all together.

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