What happens when you combine an 18km run, 14 7a grade climbs and baking hot sunshine? 

Mirthmaid, White Hole

Mirthmaid, White Hole

The Portland Olympian was the brainchild of Jon Butters and Pete Scott, two University friends with a passion for climbing. A few years ago Pete (who is local to Portland) came up with the idea of climbing a 7a on every Crag on the world famous British climbing hub that is Portland in Dorset. Not only that but running (or boulder hopping) between them, with all of their gear in tow. After years of planning and many tweaks to the route, a scoring system was created to track their progress and enable other climbers to enjoy the challenge, no matter their ability (more on this later on)

Petes good friend and climbing partner Jon who we had worked with previously on our Unilite videos contacted us to film the challenge, needless to say we jumped at the chance to shoot the challenge for them. 

Last summer was a hot one (as I’m sure you remember) with the sun beating down we met Pete and Jon for the interview segments in Portland. Set against the historic jurassic coast and with minimal gear we shot the interviews at sunset after a quick recce of some of the harder to reach climbs. After the recce it was time for an early night (after a couple of pints over dinner of course) 

The start line by the Olympic Rings

The start line by the Olympic Rings

6AM we met Pete and Jon at the Olympic Rings at the very top of Portland Bill. And after a very quick recap of the route we set off capturing what we could before hastily getting in the van, shooting out of the window before driving ahead to the first location. 

The day was spent juggling equipment, running to the van to the next car park, unpacking and running back down to meet the climbers at the next crag.

Organising the gear was the biggest challenge of all for us, we had to meticulously plan which equipment would be best to take to each location, some of which were not safe to access with our ground equipment and some which we unfortunately had to miss in order to get ahead of the climbers, park and walk the gear down to the location. Thankfully our DJI Inspire 2 with x7 allowed us to shoot some of the more difficult climbs from above, combined with our full lens set (16,24,35 and 50mm) we were able to capture some incredible shots without having to cart the Movi, GH5, Atomos and B-cam down steep rocky paths.

Running during sunrise.

Running during sunrise.

The challenge was completed a full 13 hours after the start, fully knackered out we headed to the Cove for a quick pint before calling it quits for the day. 

The edit process was an absolute pleasure helped somewhat by the stunning scenery and the incredible bespoke score by our good friend Joel at Little Waves productions.

As I’m sure you’ll agree the challenge was quite gruelling for both Pete and Jon and us as the camera crew. 

The scores

Kindly Pete provided us with a graphic (below) to explain along with a graphic of the calculation in action with Pete and Jon score. Click on the image to see their score on the day.

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