Slackjaw Film

SPLINTER – Ben's Story
Winner of 'Best Short Film' at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival

Somehow, a steady 4-hour drive telescoped into a multi-day epic and after 14 hours in the car and a further 2 hours kipping in an NCP car park in central Edinburgh, we meet Malc.

He’s been waiting up for us most of the night so we’re all feeling a bit rough. Strong coffee and 40 minutes to Dunbar, I can't even remember why we are here. Carrying hideous amounts of film making paraphernalia up 3 flights of stairs to the attic reminds me: I'm here to make a beautiful film/video about Malc’s legendary hard problem in Dunbar enigmatically named Hubble Problem with a Start and Finish.

Filming notes for Splinter Filming notes for Splinter

We start shooting in a bit of a half-arsed way, too tired to care really, even though we’ve invested in fancy booms to mount cameras on. Suddenly he’s done it. Fortunately I was pointing the camera at him and slowly it dawns on us (and him) what he’s done. First time he’s repeated it for five years and we got it on video, suddenly we had a film. The rest as they say is just an editing nightmare.

To put into context how hard this problem is, Malcolm came to the School (Sheffield’s most hardcore training venue) and despatched a long-standing project in under an hour. This problem has remained unrepeated for over a year, despite the attentions of some of the world’s strongest boulderers. There are three problems on Malc’s board harder than this, and Hubble Problem with a Start and Finish is the hardest. This makes HPWASAF undoubtedly the hardest wood problem in the country. If you think you fancy your chances, go try the 8b at the School and then add a grade and weep.