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Monday, December 28, 2009

Some words and climbs from Fred Nicole

prAna has posted the video I made about Fred Nicole. In this short piece, you can see some climbs and hear some words from the master himself. If you dig it, embed it on your blog! CORE will feature a segment with Fred, where we can learn more and see Fred's recent hybrid boulder-route in Switzerland that I filmed in November.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BJ Tilden

I've started the edit on CORE. First up, BJ Tilden. Here's some visuals:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PURE is now available as a digital download. I am really shocked with the quality of the download system available for the film. I was able to download the entire 2GB file in under 30 minutes to my laptop, connect it to my TV via an HDMI cable, and the film has never looked so awesome. I'm stoked and I think this is surely a model for the future. It's available RIGHT NOW!


My man and featured PURE athlete Nalle Hukkataival has been doing his thing lately, tearing through Europe and bouldering hard. Above is a pic from a recent FA, called Ninja Skills. Awesome to hear news of his recent accomplishments trickling back through the grapevine. When people see the footage of Livin Large, Nalle's recent 8C FA in South Africa, they're gonna freak.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Here's an amazing trailer.

This trailer is for a Surf movie shot on the Red One. If CORE can come close to this level of visual awesomeness then I'll be stoked.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Matt Wilder Interview

Whew. Three big interviews this week in the can, two for my new film, which I've just decided to name CORE. I did one of the big ones today, with Matt Wilder. Here's a frame from the video. Tomorrow a big edit session and a stills photo shoot in the evening, and then a weekend editing the Paul Robinson Prana piece and prepping PURE for TV broadcast. I've had one day off in the last three weeks. My eyes hurt.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Andy Mann

Today I had the chance to interview one of my good friends, Andy Mann. It was great to catch up with Andy and hear about his latest projects. I filmed a very cool sequence with him and his guitar for the new film. What else can I say? Andy is one of the coolest guys around, so I'll just leave it at that.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Paul Robinson

Today I had the chance to interview Paul Robinson for a series of videos I'm working on for prAna. Paul is one of my favorite climbers to hang out with... his positive attitude is a real pleasure to capture. And he's a kick-ass painter.

I'm really psyched with the way the video looks. Here's a couple frames.



Friday, December 11, 2009

Chevy Volt

Chevy has been running an ad campaign hyping the environmental benefits of their new Volt car, which also has a 'range-extending gas generator'. Well that's nice. But until we switch out our coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable electricity sources, it just means that if you run out of coal power, you can switch to gas. How eco-friendly.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The near future

Obviously there's a lot more to film making than the toys you use, but it's an important part of the equation, since your acquisition format has a lot to do with the overall look and the style you bring to the project as a cinematographer. As an early owner of a Red One, I'm one of the first in line for the next generation of cameras coming out from the company, and needless to say I cant wait until they are released. Shooting 20-megapixel video with 15-bit dynamic range in RAW format is on the horizon.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A few more frames from the new video

Here's a few video frames from Matt Wilder's new 5.14 trad climb on the Devils Thumb. Great to have some proper traditional climbing in the video. Over the next couple months I'll be working with Matt to capture some more stuff, but I have to say it will be hard to top this one...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Italian Job

Coffee in Italy... the morning routine.

I'm back to the USA now, after a whirlwind tour of the Italian bouldering scene. We filmed at a few awesome places... Sassofortino was the first stop. This area hosts large grey boulders in a shady forest. Not a huge area, but it provided our crew with plenty to work on for the five days we spent there. Every day we hung out in the forest, filming and bouldering. Every evening we chose a different pizzaria to feast at. I managed to repeat my proud achievement of sucking out a candle... but the big award goes to Irene who on-sighted the feat. Rumor has it she can suck-start a Harley Davidson.

Sucking out a candle. Photo by Michele Caminati

Before leaving Tuscany we headed down to some natural hot springs called Saturnia. I accidently filmed a topless girl while doing a camera test. Honest. Then we filmed the conclusion of the film, with Cody signing off from Tuscany and making a very surprising announcement.

Hot Springs in Tuscany

Following this, we trucked up to northern Italy in Klemen's van. Klemen is from Slovenia and he owns a hold company called Samsara. He is one of Cody's long time friends and his company on the trip was really great. I'm a big fan of anyone who wakes up early and motivates people to get out to the crag, cause a movie about people sleeping in till noon is not going to be very exciting.

After we drove north from Tuscany, we needed a place to sleep for the night. Under normal conditions I would have just bivied on the ground, but on this night it was raining buckets and the wind was howling. There was - literally - no room at the inn, and so Klemen generously offered that we could all sleep in his van. I added his name onto the long list of people I owe a huge thanks to.

Nelson wakes up and does some break dancing.

Klemen wakes up after a long night in the van.

We went to Ceriola and collected footage of the sandstone blocs there. Ceriola is an area developed in part by Michele Caminati, whose enthusiasm and skill were a true pleasure to record. He is one of the most technically gifted climbers I've ever come across.

Early morning dew in Ceriola.

Stephanie Marvez and Cody warm up in Ceriola.

Great rock at Ceriola.

Over the next few days, we filmed with Lucas Preti, who has been buildering around his home in northern Italy for some time. I'm not going to give too much detail here, but, yes, that is a real Ferrari in Stephanie's glasses.

Lucas Preti

I'm starting to work with the footage now, laying out some rough edits. Still trying to figure out a title for the new video... I have a concept but not the exact word yet. I still have to do a bit of filming around the western US to complete the work, but I definitely feel like I'm on the home stretch now and am getting closer to catching the carrot.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Fred Nicole Interview

Today I had the opportunity to interview Fred for my film. I compiled all the questions asked here on my blog and we got through the vast majority of them in the time we had. Thanks to everyone who contributed by asking a question. Overall Fred was very candid and open and I feel like the interview really represents his feelings on all the topics discussed. The place we chose for the interview was quite special, as you can see from the pictures.

My time here in Switzerland is now just one more day, hopefully the weather will be good so I can try to climb.

I'll be speaking soon from Austria, and then shortly later from Italy. Stay tuned because it's about to get a little more hectic.



Friday, November 13, 2009


This is the view from the train as I rode from Lausanne to Zurich. Lac Leman and the Alps....

I'm just back to Zurich now from a few days spent in and around Lausanne. Vernayez was the bouldering area of choice and I came away from the day with a very good feeling about this small, occasionally very noisy, area. The peaceful day was interrupted occasionally by the nearby shooting range, where people discharge weapons that even an American would be proud of. I had a teriffic time shredding myself on the small crimps, and checking out a very difficult project from Reto Hartmann, a very active local developer.

Yet another great day in the forest, just climbing whatever looked good.

On-sighting a 7c boulder problem in Vernayez, CH.

Today Fred and I are heading out once again by train to see if there's some dry rock to climb. I'm slowly learning that perhaps the biggest difference between awesome climbers (Fred) and good climbers (myself) is that the awesome ones feel compelled to head out no matter what... even if it's just to climb a few moves and check on conditions, when the rest of us would be satisfied to surf Facebook and have a quick gym session.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Ask the man.

I'm in Switzerland at the moment, doing some filming and visiting friends. We climbed two days in the boulder wonderland of Chironico and I have to say the place is amazing. This was my fourth visit to Chironico and probably the most enjoyable one yet. We had cool fall temperatures and the forest floor was covered in thick gold leaves. I met Stephanie Marvez here, who is working in Switzerland at the moment, as well as two of her friends Irene and Martin. Our little crew went around climbing anything that looked good and we stayed out till dark on both days. I did tons of problems, one especially cool one called Rain Dogs. Yesterday the fog was rolling in and out as we were climbing, much like the whole valley was breathing slowly.

I filmed Fred Nicole recently on a extremely difficult problem that is a very unique style. Fred discovered the route with his friend Christof and after a very long time was able to send the problem, which is essentially a very long bouldering roof followed by a short sport route. The route moves like a boulder problem but is very long, similar to Witness the Fitness perhaps. Fred of course suggested no grade but when people see the footage I'm sure the speculation will be intense.

I had an idea and Fred agreed that it might be cool. I would like to open up my blog to have people write in and ask a question of Fred Nicole. I need to interview him anyways for the film, so I thought it might be a good opportunity for him to take questions from some other folks at the same time. I think one of the sad things about climbing is that often the leaders of the sport are simply those who make the most noise, not necessarily those who have the most to say. So... if you have a question you would like to ask Fred... now's your chance. I'll compile the questions and edit them for clarity, and then conduct the interview on Thursday or Friday this week. Feel free to reply to this post, or drop me an email at if you have something to ask. I'll include portions of Fred's interview in my next film, and I'll include the entire thing as an extra on the DVD, and then in the future I'll make it available for free on the web. If you ask a question, please include your real name. We'll include as many questions as possible in the time we have.

So ask away!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Heading out!

I'm getting ready to head back to Europe for a few weeks. I've got a massive docket of stuff to shoot, people to meet, and drinks to gedranken. Stay tuned here for some updates as I do my thing filming people doing their thing.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Bigger than Blu-Ray?

I'm back in the USA now, after a great visit to Finland. Surprisingly enough it was warmer in Finland than it was in Colorado for most of my visit. Now that I'm home I'm putting the finishing touches on various miscellaneous projects and trying to clean off my plate so I can focus on my new climbing film for most of the winter.

One thing I am exploring is the possibility of higher-quality viewing methods than DVD. While DVD's are great, they are still standard definition. Other technologies like Blu-Ray are emerging, but are costly to manufacture. One thing I would like to try to figure out is the possability of releasing my next film in a higher quality than blu-ray. I'm filming in 4K which is about 10 times higher resolution than the standard 720p HD. If I down-size the footage to 2K (2048 x 1024) I could potentially release the film via digital download in higher resolution (though, lesser bit-rate) than even Blu-Ray, and for a fraction of the cost. Plus, we dont have to use fossil fuels to manufacture and ship the discs all over the planet!

BUT, the playback systems have to be able to handle it. SOOOO.... that's where you come in, loyal blog reader.

Follow this link to download a sample of one possible release format:


Please download the file and open it on your system. Then play it back and watch carefully to see the quality. You'll need a recent version of Quicktime to open the file.

Then please reply here with your feedback. I'm particularly interested in one main thing: Can your system play the footage back smoothly, or does it skip frames and play back choppy?

Try it at a few sizes, try scrolling around, try it in full screen or loop mode, and let me know what you think! I'll give you a "Research and Development" credit in the film if you leave a reply for me with your results.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The bridge jumping team

Here's a photo of some of the people who came out bridge jumping with us the other day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I've been in Finland for a few days now, doing some filming and hanging out in Helsinki. The climbing here is pretty nice, but I think it must be very hard to develop new boulders because most of the boulders here are well hidden in the thick forest. When the Finns find something new though it seems to be pretty good. I've just been out a couple days so far, to a nearby area called Sipoo, which is about 20 minutes from Helsinki. Nalle has done most of the boulders around here so it's fun to be able to pick and choose which ones to film. One problem we filmed is called Hyper Gravity and is a long problem which climbs out a horizontal roof on amazing little incut holds.


Thus far I have met about a dozen Finns. I have a hard time remembering all their names, and an even harder time pronouncing them, but they're all friendly and very fun to hang out with. We've been out to a few night clubs and overall everyone is social, happy, and eager to hear how my trip to Finland is going. Maybe the worst part is the price of beer, which is absolutely outrageous and may in fact lead to civil war. One can of beer will cost you about 4 dollars if you buy it at the grocery store. At a bar, expect to pay from 7 - 9 dollars for a beer.

Today we went bridge jumping with some of Nalle's friends. It's a fun activity and not too hard to pull off when you're hung over on a Sunday.

Finland Preview from Chuck Fryberger on Vimeo.

Nalle Hukkataival pushes one of his friends off a bridge.

Part of the mission here is to capture Nalle's lifestyle around Helsinki, and one cool thing he does sometimes is ride his longboard around town to see friends or go to the gym to train. We shot a couple longboarding scenes and here's a frame from one of the tunnels. We called the emergency number and told them we were going to be using a smoke machine for a while, and they said it was cool.

Longboarding in Helsinki

The next few days will be spent trying to send a hard trad project which lies a couple hours from Helsinki.

Until next time,


Monday, October 5, 2009

Another weekend in Lander

Here's a shot of BJ Tilden cranking on his home turf in Lander, WY. I'm really looking forward to sitting down and cutting all the rad footage for Pure II. Wednesday night I'm off to Finland to catch up with Nalle and see what his scene in Helsinki is all about. The video has a couple sponsors on board now so it's starting to pick up some traction. Stay tuned for some updates from Helsinki!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photos from Colorado Sandstone

Fun cranking last weekend with the P-man.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Senior portrait

Today I shot Flan's senior portrait.

Video from the new sandstone area

I have some new video from the awesome sandstone area Rob Pizem and I have started developing. Here in this video you can see some of the early route development and get a feel for the style of the climbing there. Rob is in great shape right now and I think his climbing style is very inspiring.

Rob Pizem on Fresh Sandstone

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some fresh new sandstone

I spent the last couple of days developing a very nice new area with my friend Rob Pizem. Piz is mostly noted for his traditional climbing achievements (watch for my new video on Deadpointmag sometime soon) but he is also a great boulderer. His new area is a very fine-grained and pleasant dakota sandstone boulder garden, with several short cliff bands as well as some free-standing blocks in the forest.

While the area lacks a 5-star gem there are dozens of blocks yet to be discovered in the thick pine forest. The climbs we did do (at the end of the weekend we had brushed and climbed about a dozen first ascents) were top notch, and the rock seems better quality than other Dakota areas in Colorado.

Piz plans to sink some bolts into a few of the taller faces and the resulting sport climbs should be top notch. There is also potential for a few trad lines on the crack features. I'll post up some photos as soon as Piz sends them to me. He's off climbing a ten-pitch sport route in RMNP today.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Okay, we've hit the big-time.

Great to see the sport becoming so popular. Sort of.

Keep an ear out for these awesome lines:

I'm going Ape-Crazy
AKA a big-ass rock
Motha Chucka
I'm climbing an arch!
Still confused yeah?
own each route
sense of difficulty
I own no
Basically you freefall
stay safe silly gooses.
Clam some stuff
supaman that stuff
sexy sloth technique
gnarly shin-breaking injuries

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chucks Big Triangle of Joy

The Triangle of Joy. Golden - Laramie - Rapid City - Lander - Laramie - Golden.

Laramie, WY. Home of Trains.

I just returned from a great week of travelling open spaces and climbing and filming. I am working on two projects at the moment: the Cloudveil Spring / Summer catalog and my next climbing video, which I'm calling Pure II. One of the segments in Pure II is about the West and the climbers who call it home.

On my way across Wyoming I saw an interesting sign....

Luke Kretschmar is one of the other climbers on the Cloudveil team so I went and visited his home crag called the VC. The locals in Rapid City are blessed to have this amazing resource right in their back yard. Steep limestone makes for a great alternative to the sketchy granite run-outs of the rest of the Black Hills. Last year I had a great time there and this year was no different. Perfect conditions and some new routes to check out. I managed the second ascent of the Tan Man, a hard 5.13 with some massive reaches that had me thinking 'go go gadget arms' when I was climbing.

The VC, South Dakota.

Luke Kretschmar Pulling the amazing red limestone at the VC.

I met up with my friend Ben Scott as well, who came up from Fort Collins with his friend Tam AKA Tom. It was great to see Ben again and it reminded me of our first trip to the Black Hills in 2003 when we filmed a video called Friction Addiction. The climbing in the Hills is so sweet right now its hard to even describe. Fall is great.

Ben Scott.


Ben managed to get the employee of the day award by sending The Foot Fist Way, a 5.13 with some poserful... er... powerful moves up a steep face.

Luke had bolted a project to the right of the main wall and said it was cool if I got on it. I figured out the crux after a few tries and then rested for a while and linked through the crux boulder problem that same day. Hard to grade this one since it really just boils down to a few powerful moves. Probably not 5.14 but some other repeats will say for sure in the future.

After a couple days in the VC, we went to Spearfish Canyon for a morning of sport climbing on the near-vertical walls there. The temperature had started dropping but despite the occasional snow / hail flurry and cold breezes the climbing conditions were almost ideal. I managed to onsight a 5.13 and then I called it a day and started the long drive over to Lander.

Outside Buffalo, Wyoming.

Of course the drive wouldn't be that long if I didn't stop every five seconds to film something. I'm fascinated with the Wyoming landscape and I just cant get over the beauty of the wide open spaces. I'm lucky enough to be using a camera that can actually stand a chance of capturing such huge surroundings.

The Red One, shooting time lapses.

I arrived in Lander and settled in at BJ Tilden's house. BJ is a carpenter who climbs 5.14 and his personality, location, and way of life fit in well with the western theme of the video. I filmed BJ as he completed his 10-year project 'Genetic Drifter' on the Rodeo Wave in Wild Iris. Great to see BJ in top form sending the hardest route in Wyoming.

Afterwards, we went over to the Erratic and BJ chucked a lap on Heart Full of Ghosts for the camera. Download a sample of the sickness. Raw footage from Wild Iris. BJ is the man.

I'm looking forward to continuing work on the segment, but first I need to go to Finland and get some footage of Nalle's new trad project. More on that later!