Rockstars

 

ALEX HONNOLD IN “FREE SOLO” JOYOUS ATOP EL CAPITAN AFTER ASCENT

 
In January of 2015, the world watched as two rock climbers became front page news. Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson inched their way up the 3000 ft. Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, free-climbing its virtually sheer granite face for the first time in history. Using ropes only for safety, not for assistance, the two spent 19 days on the Dawn Wall in what many considered to be the greatest climb of all time.

A couple years later in June of 2017, world-renowned rock climber Alex Honnold free-soloed the Freerider route of El Capitan in a continuous ascent of 3 hours and 56 minutes — unobserved other than a film crew trailing him as he scaled the wall with no ropes at all. His death-defying climb is now considered one of greatest feats in the history of sport.

Two new films, The Dawn Wall and Free Solo document the pursuit of these climbs, the accomplishment of these unimaginable feats, and the unrelenting dedication and perseverance of their climbers. Read More

 

Love Means Zero

 

 

Even if you don’t follow tennis, the name Nick Bollettieri and his tennis academy likely rings a bell. Now on Showtime is “Love Means Zero“, the documentary which tells the story of this legendary but controversial coach, through both his own accounts and many of the players with whom he worked. Colorful archival 80’s and 90’s tennis footage (Fila, Ellesse, and Oakley fans delight!), combined with the weathered, or should I say leathered, 86-year-old Bolletieri’s braggadocio, makes for a captivating documentary anyone will enjoy.

Over the course of his career, Bollettieri coached such top players as Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Boris Becker, Serena and Venus Williams — but none is more famous than Andre Agassi, the primary focus of the film. Their 10-year partnership brought both player and coach tennis stardom, yielding Agassi his first of his Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon in 1992. Bolletieri shocked the world following that victory, however, immediately terminating his relationship with Agassi. Read More

 

Surfing Andy Warhol

 
ART ADVISOR GLORI COHEN WITH 5 OF THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION SERIES SURFBOARDS, PHOTOGRAPHED IN HER ART FILLED NEW JERSEY HOME

 
In 1967, Andy Warhol moved to La Jolla, California to make the movie, “San Diego Surf”, his homage and twist on the classic surf films of the late 1960’s. Surfboard shaper Tim Bessell was then just a kid, living down the street.

Fast forward to the 1980’s where Bessell was invited to New York by film producer Gary Binko and by chance met Warhol at the opening of the Playboy Club. As it turned out, Warhol and Bessell had a mutual friend, another surfboard shaper named Carl Ekstrom. Famous for his asymmetrical surfboard designs, two had been used as props in the movie. Ekstrom told Bessell if he ever ran into Warhol, tell him he said hello. Little did he realize he would have the chance to do just that!
 
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ELVIS, MARILYN & MICK

 
Spotting him at the opening, standing with a group of models, Bessell introduced himself on a dare. Warhol didn’t surf, but was obsessed and enamored with surf culture. Taken with Bessell and his friends, Warhol invited him to hang out at The Factory and the offices of Interview magazine.
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A Cavernous Journey

 

THE GATE OF SON DOONG CAVE 

 

I’ve known fashion photographer Kelly Ryerson since the beginning of this millennium, and first worked with her at Women’s Sports & Fitness magazine, where we journeyed on many an outdoor adventure. One of our most memorable was to photograph some bathing beauties in Goldbug Hot Springs, a hidden gem of a natural hot tub, bubbling along the banks of the Salmon River in the mountains of Idaho.

Hiking has always been a source of joy and solace for Kelly. As kid growing up in Austin, Texas, trekking through the woods and trails was simply the way to get to whatever watering hole she and her friends decided to cool off in that day. When faced recently with the emotional wallop and pain of a divorce, it was to hiking that Kelly returned, finding comfort in both its physicality and serenity.

Last March, Kelly embarked on an epic 5-day journey to Sơn Đoòng Cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vietnam – only just recently discovered – photographing it in these majestic images shown here. This is the story of her cavernous adventure…
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Sunday Night Sports Flix: Best of Ski

 

 

DOWNHILL RACER 1969

It’s time for another installment of Sunday Night Sports Flix. With many of us skiing over the long holiday weekend and the winter Olympics going full force, we thought the “Best of Ski” would be a timely theme. So here goes our top five — click image for preview!

Astonishing alpine locations, action-packed photography, a young Robert Redford and the gorgeous Camilla Sparv, are just a few of the visual splendors of Downhill Racer. Redford plays a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing in Europe for Olympic gold and Gene Hackman is the coach who tries to temper his narcissistic drive for glory.

 

Glen-Plake

BLIZZARD OF AAHS 1988

From from famed ski film director Greg Stump comes this iconic 80’s documentary featuring the pioneers and rockstars of extreme skiing, most notably the young mohawked Glen Plake. Most of the footage is shot at Chamonix with other main segments at Telluride and Squaw Valley.

 

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ASPEN EXTREME 1993

A goofball classic but popular favorite, Aspen Extreme is the story of two ski buddies who abandon their blue-collar world to become ski instructors in Aspen, Colorado. There they discover the playground of the rich and famous. Seduced by the skiing, wealth, and lifestyle their friendship is put to the test with surprising results.

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VALHALLA 2013

Valhalla is a modern day hippie classic. Described as “the tale of one man’s search to rediscover the freedom of his youth. Feeling the distant heat of its fire still burning in the mountains of the frozen north, he goes in search of those tending the flame—the untamed, the wild, and the outcast dwelling on the fringe.” An appropriate naked skiing sequence is one of the highlights of the movie, in addition to all the spectacularly filmed backcountry skiing.

 

FZ5.6_MC1MCCONKEY 2013

McConkey is a memoir of Shane McConkey, one of the most inspirational and influential athletes the action sports world has ever known. McConkey’s daredevil feats combined BASE jumping with skiing, but in 2009, he died while skiing in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. After a double back flip off a cliff on skis, McConkey intended to glide away in his wing flying suit, but unable to release his skis, he was killed. Filled with incredible action, his story is told through his peers, friends and family, and most movingly by his wife.

CLICK TO CHECK OUT LOTS MORE GREAT SPORT FLIX!

 

Girl, 17, Cycles Across U.S. in 3 Weeks

 
RUTH ORKIN IN 1947; THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT PHOTOGRAPHED BY ORKIN IN 1939

 

In 1939, a 17-year old girl living in California decided to embark on a monumental bike trip across the country. The World’s Fair in New York City was her destination. That girl was award winning photojournalist and filmmaker Ruth Orkin (1921-1985).

Orkin grew up in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s, and at the age of 10, received her first camera, a 39¢ Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. Obsessed with traveling after three cross country train trips with her family, she took a job as a teenager at a travel agency in 1937. When a pamphlet for American Youth Hostels arrived in the mail one day at work, offering cheap lodging and cooking facilities for travelers journeying by foot or bicycle, the call for adventure was too great to resist.
 

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PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ORKIN AND PAGE FROM THE SCRAPBOOK SHE MADE DOCUMENTING THE 1939 BIKE TRIP. ALL CAPTIONS HANDWRITTEN BY ORKIN

 
At 16, Orkin took her first Youth Hostel trip to San Francisco, and the following year somehow convinced her parents to let her bicycle across the country. Multiple newspapers carried the story of this 17-year old on a cross country tour of U.S. Youth Hostels. While she had actually hitchhiked from LA to Chicago, and then Chicago to New York – equally adventurous and kind of crazy — Orkin later wrote in her book, A Photo Journal, published in 1981, “The bicycling was done while I was sightseeing in each city: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Boston. I also biked the smaller distances between the four eastern cities and while hosteling through four New England states. All in all I biked a total of 2000 miles during those four months!”
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Fashion-A-Bell: Carmen dell’Orefice

 
NORMAN PARKINSON & CARMEN DELL’OREFICE FROM BRITISH VOGUE JULY 1959
©CHRISTOPHER & GREGORY HARTLEY

 

Carmen dell’Orefice is one of the iconic models in fashion history, most famous in her older years for her unmistakable white coiffure. The fantastic image above is from British Vogue, July 1959, and shows her as a young model with renowned fashion photographer, Norman Parkinson. Loving the adventurous “Style of Sport” spirit of the image, we were curious about the story behind the picture.

While Parkinson was the photographer on the shoot in Bermuda, this image was actually taken by Bronson Hartley who ran a local helmet diving operation. Bell or Helmet Diving is a very old concept and the precursor to scuba diving. Using the same principle as a glass turned upside down underwater, water pressure keeps air trapped inside an open-bottomed metal helmet. Fresh air is then pumped in through an attached hose allowing divers to walk around the sea floor, with no training required.

Bronson was an esteemed marine biologist who had first come to Bermuda from New York City in 1930 with his family as a child to escape the Depression. At age ten he built his first diving helmet and continued to evolve his model. His hobby would later become his profession as he began taking adventurous tourists, and later celebrities like Charlton Heston, on the underwater adventure of a lifetime.

Continuing his zeal for invention, Bronson started making his own cameras and underwater housings. A pioneer in undersea photography, he made the first ever color 35mm underwater movie, “Mainstreet Undersea”, starring his wife, Martica, a model and actress. Hartley and the making of the film were featured in the December 15, 1952 issue of LIFE. For those who remember the show, Martica was a guest on “Whats My Line.” Read More

 

Valley Uprising

 
TOMMY CALDWELL, LEFT, AND KEVIN JORGESON ON THE DAWN WALL OF EL CAPITAN IN YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK.
BRETT LOWELL/BIG UP PRODUCTIONS

 
The world watched as climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson made their way up the Dawn Wall of El Capitan, free climbing its virtually sheer granite face for the first time in history, in what many consider to be the greatest climb of all time.

In free climbing, ropes are used only to protect in case of a fall, not to assist the ascent. What makes this climb so remarkable is how flat this wall is, with very few cracks and ledges for their hands and feet to hold on to. Caldwell and Jorgeson have now completed the most difficult sections or “pitches”, and could conceivably reach the top by the end of the week. The New York Times has been covering their ascent daily, and recently featured this interactive look at their climb: Dawn Wall: El Capitan’s Most Unwelcoming Route.

There are about 100 routes up El Capitan, first summited from the valley floor in 1958. Only 13 have ever been free climbed. “Valley Uprising”, a new film about the history of climbing in Yosemite by Sender Films has just been released on DVD and looks at the culture of the sport and this climbing mecca, from the 1950′s to the present day. Like what cool indie sport documentary, “Dog Town & Z-Boys”, did for skateboarding, and “Riding Giants” did for big wave surfing, “Valley Uprising” does for climbing, with great vintage images and footage, showcasing the rebel counterculture of climbing and the colorful personalities of its athletes.
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