Monday, February 18, 2013

In The High Country

Last July, I got an email from Joel Wolpert about filming me on some of the mountains I was running up at the time.  I'd first met Joel in November 2010, when he contacted me about making a short film for Running Times about running in the winter.

Our subsequent actual face-to-face meeting was quite odd.  I was out for a typical jog up Green Mountain when I came upon Joel about halfway up the hill, at the junction of the Saddle Rock and Greenman trails. He was wearing a plaid shirt, a blaze orange trucker's hat, and had a camera tripod slung over one shoulder, which---given the rest of his outfit---from 100 yards out I thought might actually be a rifle.  He introduced himself, though---"I thought I might find you up here"---and after doing some filming with him the next day and seeing the final result, I was impressed with what he could do with just a camera, a tripod, a rented steadi-cam, and his running fitness (even with low-altitude, West Virginia lungs).

So, when he called me up in July, I was happy to work with him again, knowing that he had the vision and ability to produce something beyond the standard mountain porn.  What sets Joel apart---and what I think will be apparent in the final product---is his impressive commitment to the craft. Eventually, Joel was able to russle up some backers---including support from my personal sponsors, Ultimate Direction and New Balance---but before any of that happened, Joel simply packed up his aging Subaru wagon in mid-August and sight unseen drove half-way across the country to meet up with me in Leadville for the 100 mile race.

Post-Leadville 100, we spent virtually every day of the next month together, each of us living out of our respective vehicles as I bounced back and forth between Boulder and the state's high mountain ranges, chasing as many summits and scrambles as I could before the weather turned and I had to fly off to Spain for a race. A family man, Joel committed to my itinerant summer lifestyle of 14er summits, mountain stream baths, Flatiron scrambles, trailhead sleeping, and coffeeshop internet-snaking. Don't worry, it's not as romantic as it might sound to some, but it does let me see a lot of mountaintops.

Lots of people can wield a camera, a few more can work some magic in the editing room.  Not very many possess those skills while also being able to keep up on pre-dawn 14er missions and 5th Class scrambles with a 1000'+ of exposure, clinging ropeless to the rock with one hand and pointing the camera with the other. And then keep it up for a month, also dealing with my at-times obsessive and uncompromising personality. Without getting paid.

Obviously, I have a bias, but I'm excited to see what Joel comes up with this time around.


  1. This looks very cool. Can't wait to see it.

  2. Awesome look into reshaping the way people look at Ultra Running/Mountaineering!

  3. Looking forward to the opening! What is the title/artist of the music featuring violin and marimba?

  4. Oh, Anton. Love how you are listening to your heart and your way of life. You make it okay for others to do so too.

  5. My maiden name is Krupicka. Not a very common name. Maybe we are related. Your athleticism is amazing. Keep on running!

  6. Anton, who resoled your running shoes with sticky rubber?

  7. Cam cam - No. UTMB takes precedent.

    Michael - Rock and Resole here in Boulder. But beware, the two rubbers they have available (5.10 Stealth and Vibram Dot) are hyper-sticky and heavy, not great for running but crazy grip while scrambling.

  8. Echoing Vivian's sentiment who are the artists for the music in the teaser?

    Can't wait to see this come out!

  9. Vivian and Timothy - If you go to Joel's Vimeo site and look at the info under the video there will be links to the music in the teaser.

  10. Anton,

    Who do you recommend for some deep tissue work, I believe you mentioned a guy early in your blog but can't remember where or when but you called him Magic Hands!


  11. Are you feeling up to running the Tarawa Ultra next month?

  12. Hey Anton. I really want to see you race Sage Canaday. Are you still going to be racing the Tarawera 100k in March?

  13. Anton, do you remove your insoles on all your shoes?

  14. The camera work and angles really bring you into your running -- can't wait to see the whole thing when it's released. I also love anything that involves a look at people's vehicles that keeps them going and act as mobile base camps.

    What a great subject! Run on!

  15. Very Very good and usable post. Thank's to share your experience with us. I will try to remember these tips in my blog commenting task.

    camera tripods - Inter Foto is Indias Largest Photo Distributor distributing Lowepro, Hoya, Benro, etc

  16. I missed the showing in Boulder. How can I buy a copy or watch this film. Looks great!!!

  17. We would love to see the film Anton. Please keep us posted on where to go to watch or purchase. Big fans! Much Love!

  18. I like It, Thank you for presenting a wide variety of information that is very interesting to see in this artikle, good job adnd succes For you

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