The SufferFest films have garnered a loyal following around the world, and have won lots of prestigious awards. Clap-o-meters go wild whenever 'SufferFest 2 - Desert Alpine' is shown to an audience. Order it below and watch the entire film. Fans of both climbers, two of the best and most recognized athletes around the globe, take us on an audacious journey that will make us laugh, think and wonder!
Winner of the Radical Reels -
People's Choice Award at the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival 2014
Click on the link below to order!
On the Cover: Cedar Wright - On SufferFest 1 & 2
Cover Date: January 9th, 2015
An Interview with Cedar Wright
Editor: Cedar, thanks for spending a few minutes and answering some questions. Who came up with the title SufferFest (it is brilliant), and when did this crystalize?
Cedar Wright: WOOHOOO, my pleasure to be here! The name SufferFest was my idea, (Alex lacks the creativity for such genius title choices) and it was actually supposed to be a joke. Somehow, Honnold convinced me that our initial linkup of all the 14ers in CA by bike would be kind of casual. It turned out to be legitimately horrendous.
Now, after our second bike powered mission, I kind of think that the name SufferFest is a bit of a curse... i.e. you call your trip a SufferFest and it's going to be one!
Editor: We saw loose rock, bumpy back roads and blistering winds pounding the two of you, and even though you both admitted that things were tough, you kept going.
On a light-hearted note, it was fun to see two strong men grumble, just like we would. On a more serious note, it was moving to see the two of you picking each other up and keep moving…but it was really dangerous at times, wasn’t it?
Cedar Wright: I'm glad you enjoyed our whining! I actually like to think that if nothing else it takes one of the most famous climbers in the world and makes him look deeply flawed and human... Ha. As far as safety... No.. it was not dangerous at
all... it was soo safe... well.. except for the loose rock, giant run
outs, simul-climbing, and Alex's extremely poor mountain biking skills....
and the lighting storm nearly got caught in...and all the horrendous anchors...
except for those things, it was really safe.
Editor: Your answers are fabulous! Okay, biking straight into 60 mile-an-hour headwinds must have been unbearable, those hybrid bikes took a beating, but the two of you weren’t spared by the bad weather either. Did you ever think about saying, okay, that’s enough, let the torture end, let mercy dawn…did it even cross your mind?
For us, it made for fantastic viewing, but it was the two of you who were actually enduring it.
Cedar Wright: I pretty much wanted to give up after the first day, when I realized that my two half an hour spins on a stationary bike was not good training for an epic endurance mission like this… but seriously... we never considered stopping the trip.
I think we got to this point where no matter how shitty it got, it really didn't
surprise us. We were more surprised when a tower turned out to be easy,
or it wasn't windy for ten minutes.
Editor: Both of you are phenomenal climbers, but biking long distance is an entirely different ball game.
Why did you guys choose biking?
Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone was the idea.
Cedar Wright: Yes... I think life is best lived with consistent forays out of your comfort zone. Alex and I are both what I would call "lifers" as far as climbing goes;
It's in our blood and we'll do it come hell or high water… until we physically
can't, but we are also what I'd call dabblers; we like to try new challenges
and activities and enjoy the feeling of being a beginner at something all over
Editor: But biking made the distances 10 times longer…would you bike again, if you had to do another SufferFest?
Cedar Wright: Alex and I are talking about doing another bike trip at some point... but I think part of the charm of SufferFest is the ‘fish out of water’ thing, so I think that we will have to add another mode of transport into the mix. I suggested sea kayaking because the first two SufferFests had a distinct lack of danger of drowning.
Editor: Would switching the bikes to two Harleys be more fun?
Cedar Wright: Hell yes…Harleys! Harley Davidson if you are reading this... give me a ring! But seriously... we have talked about trying to do a solar powered electric bike mission, but I'm not sure the technology is there yet.
Editor: One of the things viewers commented on was how amazing it was to watch the interaction between you and Alex. It was a cool lesson in balancing each other out, when one of you had had just about enough, the other jumped in, used humor to bring their friend’s spirits up and battled on for another day. It was really great to see this brotherly connection between you, and I think the viewers found it quite
moving. Your thoughts?
Cedar Wright: Yeah, I think humor is a wonderful coping mechanism, and Alex and I both share the characteristic of laughing in the face of suffering. A lot of the charm of these trips is the camaraderie that comes out of getting totally worked and trying to accomplish something outrageous as a team. For me personally life is about collecting experiences and sharing good times with good friends, and I think Alex shares that philosophy, so even though we have vastly different personalities, at the core we share a lot of the same values. We have a strong bromance.
Editor: We saw footage of both of you doing some world class climbing, but you also handled those precarious high angle shots. What was that like? That was fantastic footage, but you had to climb, station yourself and also had to position yourself for the best shots…on those horrendous, windy days, how did you manage to pull off that incredible footage?
Cedar Wright: Well for Sufferfest 2, I put together an awesome team of cinematographers Samuel Crossley, and Canyon Florey, but our true secret weapon was world class climber Hayden Kennedy who at times climbed above us
rigging ropes for the camera men.
I always had my small hand held HD camera for filming on the wall when they couldn't be there, and somehow it all came together into a film. One of the things I thought that was a priority for me on this trip was to not let the filmmaking get in the way of the adventure and natural flow of the trip, so there were times when the camera guys just hung on the ground filming long shots while we blasted up a spire!
Editor: Fantastic! We interviewed Alex about the Honnold Foundation, and the work you guys did on Navajo land by installing solar lights in Bessie Wilson's hogan in SufferFest 2.
What was that experience like for you?
Cedar Wright: The Solar work was a really cool element of this trip. As someone who is ridiculously blessed, it makes me happy that we were able to use our trip to raise a legit chunk of cash to make a small difference in the lives of a few good people.
Editor: How did that amazing landscape feel like to you personally?
Cedar Wright: The American Southwest is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, and getting to slowly move through it on a bike was an unforgettable experience!
Editor: SufferFest is winning a lot of awards and viewers love it. It is also making folks think about putting together their own version of a SufferFest.
Was that something you envisioned?
Cedar Wright: I intentionally ended SufferFest 2 with a call to action, basically saying… look… yes, Alex and I are professional climbers, but anyone can do this. I highly encourage people to come up with an audacious, outrageous almost impossible sounding goal and then try to achieve it... you might just pull it off and how rad would that be?!!
As far as the awards go... I'm so stoked that it's gotten some laurels, and I'm pretty shocked. I seriously wasn't even sure if it was going to get into the festivals because I feared that some people might have felt like the sequel is never as good as the original, but I knew in my heart that I'd given the film every ounce of hard work and creativity I could, so I rolled the dice, crossed my fingers, and miraculously hit the artistic jackpot!
Editor: You sure did! We really enjoyed the films and appreciate the super-hard work that went into it behind the scenes.
The SufferFest films gave us a rare glimpse into both you and Alex, and it was great to see how open and candid you both were: with each other and the viewers. The media portrays an image of the two of you as being super-strong (which you guys definitely are) and totally indefatigable. But there were time times when rest couldn’t come soon enough, especially if one of you was battling an injury.
The films have shown us that when adversity strikes, the friends around us can make it a lot easier to handle. Do you find that to be accurate?
Cedar Wright: I find myself to be extremely indefatigable, and infinitely bad ass!
I thought that's what SufferFest 2 portrayed... Ha... seriously. One of my big goals with the film was to BE REAL. It turns out that the person that you idealize and look up to, is just human. We are all deeply flawed and idiosyncratic, and that to me is a beautiful thing. I'm trying to go the opposite direction of most action sports films that try to portray the athletes as larger than life. I want to show athletes for what they are... human... fragile and charmingly flawed.
Editor: That’s a novel and very cool concept. You and Alex are definitely the world’s favorite climbing partners. But each of you have sides to your personalities that couldn’t be more different.
What makes you both alike?
What makes you both different?
Cedar Wright: Well... we are both wickedly handsome... but I am a philosopher genius, while Alex is of below average intelligence....I mean, sure he's Mensa... but ...
Editor: Alex, are you reading this? Cedar seriously, it is truly a joy to interview you. Your fans are going to love your sense of humor, and it has totally carried this interview. Thank you.
Okay, Sufferfest 3 is in the works and you’ve talked about doing things that you wouldn’t normally do…what’s next?
Are we going to see the two of you skiing or snowboarding through your next adventure?
Or maybe swimming and surfing in some cool locations? Maybe, you guys will just surprise us!
Cedar Wright: I'm going to let it be a surprise... we haven't made any definite plans yet, and may give the public a year off from SufferFest! But don't be surprised if you see us roller-blading through a town near you soon!
Editor: Thank you for speaking with us, Cedar.
We look forward to Sufferfest 3, and will be following the trail of awards SufferFest is racking up!
We hope to follow up with you soon.
Cedar Wright: Hey! My pleasure. I'm so stoked that people are entertained and inspired by the film. I sincerely want to wish people lots of love and adventure in their lives! WOOHOOOO!
Click on the link below to order the award-winning film, SufferFest 2!
Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Editor of 'An Interview With'.
Editor-in-Chief of climbskibouldermagazine.com
Interview © Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
All images © of the designated photographer and used with Cedar' written permission.
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Climber Bio from Cedar's official web site:
Cedar Wright is a Professional Climber and Filmmaker living in Boulder, Colorado.
As a member of The North Face Team, Cedar has traveled the world establishing adventurous and daring first ascents, often documenting these exploits through his writing and cinematography.
Cedar is a National Geographic Explorer, a Contributing Editor at Climbing Magazine, and has won numerous awards for his films, including the popular SufferFest franchise, which he also stars in along with good his friend Alex Honnold. Cedar is a humble and approachable person known for his goofy sense of humor, and infectious lust for life, and is always game for an outrageous adventure.
While studying English and Creative Writing in Northern California, Cedar fell in love with rock climbing, and soon after graduation he moved into his truck (he now lives in a house) and began following his climbing dreams full time. For over 5 years Cedar was a member of the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team, and when he wasn't hanging out of a helicopter he was climbing his ass off. He got pretty good at it.
Today, Cedar is one of the most recognized professional climbers in the United States, and continues push himself as a climber and creative. Cedar has climbed El Capitan free in a day, established traditional 5.13 first ascents in Yosemite and Indian Creek, and pioneered difficult new Alpine Rock Routes in places like Pakistan, the Bugaboos, and Alaska. He continues to be a driven, passionate and prolific climber and story teller.