Hey folks, This year, I was awarded a Live Your Dream grant for a project combining ice climbing and anthropology. When I applied for the grant, I had a partner lined up, but last week he backed out. It’s short notice, of course, but I’m looking for a collaborator. I'm based in Denver, but it's just a bonus if you live in the Front Range. There’s a core structure to the project, but also room for modification if someone wants to get involved.
Shugendo is an ancient Japanese religion centered on mountain worship through ascetic practices, and I’m interested to see if it has any parallels with the way some climbers approach alpinism. My plan is to travel to Japan this January, climb a long ice route on a sacred mountain, visit Shugendo shrines and temples, and then make a short film about the experience.
To be clear, this is a mini-expedition, not spiritual tourism or some instant-karma-Last-Samurai-on-Ice-enlightenment fantasy. At 2967 m, Kaikomagatake is one of the tallest peaks in the Akaishi Mountains, and both forks of O-Ren Dani are mixed routes over 1000m long. I’m psyched about this project and think that with the right partner, it could be an incredible trip that leads to a unique film. I’ve got a solid amount of research done, and, obviously, I’d split the grant money with any collaborator(s).
If you’re interested, shoot me an email, and I’d be happy to talk more.