On the Cover:
Pete Takeda on 'Desert Ice'
Cover Date: November 18th, 2014
An Interview with Pete Takeda
Thank you so much for speaking with us, Pete. We greatly appreciate your time, when you’re so busy.
Editor: Let’s talk about the incredible video ‘Desert Ice’, a beautifully written, edited and filmed piece. It was really amazing to see ice walls in the desert! It seemed pretty mythic, to use your words. Everyone must’ve been amped up to work on this film, am I right?
Pete Takeda: The 3 Strings team was pretty psyched on Desert Ice. It’s a gritty, rowdy and colorful look at some amazing ice developments around Zion National Park. I was brought on to write and narrate. Andy Mann – a partner at 3 Strings Productions -- was really keen to catch the spirit of exploration, the characters (and they are characters) and the visual/environmental contrasts between the desert and ice.This film delivers the goods -- great storyline, wild location, true grit characters and some white-knuckle thrills. The last scene not only puts the “dry” in dry-tooling but it also opens our eyes about what constitutes “protection.”
Editor: Those walls really were extraordinary. 'Desert Ice' also stars Scott Adamson (who is in the Everest region right now, off the grid), Jesse Huey, and is filmed by Keith Ladzinski.
So, who found this ethereal location?
Pete Takeda: I believe folks have been climbing ice in Zion over the last decade, but Scott Adamson and Angela VanWiemeersch went exploring during last winter’s cold/snowy snap and climbed over a dozen major new routes in two weeks. Looks like their efforts – which resemble alpine exploration more than your standard water ice climbing – paid off. I’ve never met Scott or Angela but I got a good feel for them in the post-production process. The duo are off in the Khumbu on an ice climbing trip. I was there in 2012/2013 doing just what they’re doing – new ice routes. No doubt they’ll come back with a few tales and hopefully some pics to share. They definitely have the right stuff!
Editor: The routes looked fabulous but time was of the essence. Things looked very precarious in some areas of the gigantic ice walls, even though the climb was truly classic. What was your opinion of the conditions they were working with? How inspired were you?
Pete Takeda: In the film, Adamson, VanWiemeersch and Huey were definitely working against the clock. There’s a scene where Huey is following a pitch and by the time he starts, the ice has already melted out. So time – measured in minutes, not hours or days – played a huge factor. It’s one thing to start up a route and have it melt out. It’s another thing to rap in and have the clock start ticking. Bigger commitment… But when the surf’s up, you gotta go. Watch the film and you’ll see what I mean.
Editor: Would you like to head out there at some point and do some of your famous climbing in that location? The area sure is tempting!
Pete Takeda: I’d like to. I just returned from a desert trip that felt pretty out there. I have a love/hate thing with that area so maybe I’m full-up for now. But if the call comes and it looks good…
Editor: Thanks for chatting with us and sharing this totally amazing journey with us, Pete.
Pete Takeda: Thank you!
Climber Bio: Pete Takeda started climbing in 1980. He began his prolific career as a boulderer, progressed through free climbing, big-wall climbing, sport, ice, mixed, and now big mountain climbing. If you hear someone say “Big Wall Pete”, they’re referring to the one and only Pete Takeda. He has written a couple of books and been published in Men’s Journal, Outside, Rock and Ice, Alpinist, Elevation Outdoors and Climbing.
Sponsors: Pete is sponsored by Marmot, Nutriex and La Sportiva. He is hydrated by Skratch Labs.
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 Pete's written permission.
Watch 'Desert Ice'. A 3 Strings Productions film by Arc'teryx.