Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Hydrotherapy



Liam Cook descendant of the legendary Dorset Cook brothers has slowly been turning his hand quite successfully to film making. Already assisting with productions such as Alistair lee’s psyche 2, Liam has been focusing his attention on Deep water soloing.

The summer of 2011 saw Neil Gresham complete one of the hardest Deep water solos on the British Isles. The Hollow Cave area of Pembroke, south wales is now home to ‘Hydrotherapy’ with the estimated grade of 8a+.

Liam’s words.....
Filmed in the summer of 2011 this film follows Neil Gresham, one of the UK's most prominent all round professional rock climbers, as he embarks on one of the most challenging routes of his career, 'Hydrotherapy'.

'Hydrotherapy' takes the line of greatest steepness through the soaring, gothic architecture of Hollow Caves Bay in Pembroke, Wales. Climbing rope-less with only the sea to catch him, Neil could only safely attempt the route during a high, spring tide when the water would sufficiently cover the jagged reefs below. Discovering that the cave would remain wet until an hour before sunset meant the tide had to rise precisely at the right time. When the sun was low enough in the sky, the face would be bathed in an incredible golden light, and the moisture burnt away.

So, the seas had to be calm, the weather mild, and he had to have someone on hand to fish him out in case of emergency. Even getting to the base of the route presented problems, requiring an unusual and creative approach. As if to add insult to injury, the cliff falls within a restricted area of land, controlled by the military. Several attempts were thwarted by the unpredictable closure of this land, exacerbating a sense of frustration, made keener by the wasted 500mile return trips from London.

So when the illusive window of opportunity finally creaked ajar, Neil had to be ready to climb something at his physical limit. The resulting experience surely had to be one of the most cathartic and memorable of his life.