While Alex Honnold might get the fame for his free solos, this crew of young Coloradans pursues their own form of climbing: buildering. Taking full advantage of the urban playground right outside their door, these climbers put up challenging routes where most people look every day but would never think to climb. Boulder-based filming outfit Pop Top Productions documented some of these climbs in their new film Real Rock, a clever take on the classic climbing film genre. Mix some hair-raising urban free solos with some insightful commentary from legends like Tommy Caldwell and Timmy O’Neill, and we’re sure to have one hell of a film.
The film’s director, Drew Herder, gives a little insight into what it took: “My co-producer Josh and I went to CU Boulder and would builder together between classes for a cheap workout. But soon the lines got bigger and the objectives got scarier, and we realized we could get the same thrills from buildering that we were getting from rock climbing. Eldorado Canyon and the Flatirons became training for the next buildering line, and somewhere along the way we started filming. Our adventures took us to crags in cities all around Colorado, and we even spent a warm winter in Tucson as buildering bums while we waited for the brick of the front range to thaw. The name PopTop Productions comes from the poptop camper that I moved into a few years ago so that we could park at the base of crags in Denver for an alpine start in the morning. This film premiered at Boulder's Adventure Film Festival in October, and the next screening will be at the Flagstaff Film Festival the weekend of February 16th.”