NoSima Chalk Bags

Sea to Summit Productions recently had the pleasure of climbing and filming with Nicole Pellegrini of NoSima and a few select climbing friends. 

In the short film, Nicole discusses the origins of her company, and the joys of climbing. 

 

Director: Benny Haddad.  

Cinematographer: Matthew Parent

Editor: Jon Berry

One Foot in Front of the Other

When we here at Sea to Summit Productions talked about our plans for 2016, we knew it would involve hiking, the outdoors, really just getting both of our families into the wild of nature and introducing our two daughters to the joys of putting one foot in front of the other. I did not expect this much running.

Benny and I after a Warrior Dash event in 2012

About 4 years ago, Benny and I took up running as a means to get into shape and keep each other motivated so we could climb higher mountains and hike longer trails. When Blair became pregnant last year, and most of Benny’s time was spent taking care of her, his running fell by the wayside. My passion however, only grew.

Jon and Rose, after the Race Through the Vineyard 10k

The initial thought and actions of running for me are always painful and filled with reluctance. I don’t want to wake up early, I don’t want to put on running shoes, and I have to force myself out the door to begin my run. But once I do, some otherworldly force takes over me and I take off. 

The 2013 Spartan Race in Malibu

I started running more and more miles each month and began to actively enjoy waking up early and having my feet hit the road. I signed up for obstacle races, 5k’s and 10k’s in order to keep some goal in mind, a carrot waving in front of me to motivate each run. I never thought of myself as a runner until Disney announced they were holding the first ever Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in 2015. I figured if I was going to make the leap to longer distances, why not have it be Star Wars related?

RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon January 18, 2015

From that race onwards, I was hooked on the longer distances and in 2015 I ran another 2 half marathons, adding to my ever growing medal collection. That’s when I discovered Vacation Races and my plans for 2016 presented themselves.

These are going to be some amazing runs

These are going to be some amazing runs

Vacation Races is a company that holds half marathons outside of national parks all around the country. From Zion to the Great Smokey Mountains, there are 8 half marathons each year, some within a week of each other. And I signed up for all 8.

 

I saw this as not only a worthwhile goal to work towards, to complete the entire catalog of races that were offered, but as means and motivation to get my family out into the open to explore these national parks, most of which I myself haven’t been to.

3 weeks ago I started this insanity by running my second RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon. In March, the true challenge begins with our first stop, Zion National Park. This will be the 1st of 8 races around some amazing national parks. I’ll be running, but the whole family will be doing some amazing hikes in each location along the way. Look for more updates on this site, and my Instagram feed (user JonBerry) in the coming months. 

Early Mornings

You'll hear it over and over again: The best light, especially for landscapes, is right around sunrise, or sunset.  But unless you have a client paying you to do so, or you have a very specific shot in mind, it can be very difficult to motivate yourself to get out of your warm comfy bed before the sun is up.  Sometimes though I find that it's worth doing so, just to remind yourself that you can. Just so that it comes natural when you do  have that very specific shot in mind.  It's our extra effort that sets us apart from the crowds.  

Here are the results of my deciding to make the effort to wake up extra early on a Sunday morning just to play with my camera.  I wasn't disappointed.  

 

 

The California Coast and the setting moon during "blue hour." 

The California Coast and the setting moon during "blue hour." 

The setting moon in a sky made pink by the rising sun.  

The setting moon in a sky made pink by the rising sun.  

Dawn Patrol: Surfers also understand the benefits of being out for sunrise. 

Dawn Patrol: Surfers also understand the benefits of being out for sunrise. 

Glassy waves in the dawn calm.  

Glassy waves in the dawn calm.  

Workout With a View

Are you the kind of person that appreciates a view while you work out?

While I'm sure lots of us would prefer to wake up every morning and spend the day in the mountains, sometimes that's just not an option.  But if you live in LA, that doesn't mean that you have to content yourself with grey streets or a musty gym.  We are lucky enough to have lots of great outdoor spaces to keep in mountain shape.  One of the best is right in the middle of the city.  Welcome to Baldwin Hills Scenc Overlook, just off of Jefferson Blvd. 

You can take either the longer, winding, 1.25 mile path, or the steep 282 steps straight to the top. Either way, once you get there, you'll be rewarded with a great view of the city. Rinse and repeat!

Bonus: Zoom in on the photo and see if you can find the Hollywood Sign.  

Malibu Creek in 650 Megapixels

Seeing a wide beautiful vista can be entrancing.  But don't you sometimes wish that you could just dive right into the image, zoom in, scroll around, and check out all the little details too?  Well now you can!  By shooting multiple rows of conjoined images, and stitching them together, you can create huge, high resolution images to explore later.  Forget about having a 50 megapixel image.  This image of Malibu Creek is 650 megapixels.

To Explore this image in full screen, click the bottom "Full Screen" button in the viewer.

The Lost Coast

Getting out into the wilderness to go camping isn't particularly easy.  It takes time, effort, planning, a certain level of training for safety, and of course, physical exertion.  You are carrying your room and board on your back wherever you go.

The rewards however, are commensurate to the price you pay.  Good health; clarity of mind; self confidence; a weekend away from a ringing cellphone.....  And of course... the views.

Here are some of my favorite views from The Lost Coast.

-Benny


Alpine Starts

What the hell is wrong with us that makes us willing get out of a warm, cozy, soft bed at 3:30am on a Saturday and leave a beautiful, naked, pregnant wife behind to spend a day sweating, struggling, panting, bitching and complaining, to climb up through fields of scree and ice just to reach the top of some mountain?

Whenever my friends or family ask me such questions, I always have a hard time answering. Is it for the pictures of the beautiful vistas that only those who toil on foot to wild places can reach? Sometimes. Is it for that sense of accomplishment, the mental peace and calm you find in the mountains, and in sheer physical exhaustion at the end of the day? That's definitely part of it. Is it so you can enjoy that decadent cheeseburger with Caramelized bacon that the previously mentioned beautiful pregnant wife has waiting for you without any sense of guilt whatsoever? You're damn right!

But even deeper than all that... The mountains just become part of your identity. When you can't lose yourself in them, you start to lose yourself for real. The pain, sweat, and exhaustion are just part of the price you pay to claim your own soul. 

Why do you climb?

For more info on the 52 Hike Challenge, go to 52hikechallenge.comThank you to Luke Bearl from adventureswithluke.com for inviting us to join and film his hiking group this weekend.

Filming for the 52 Hike Challenge Documentary has begun!

This morning we joined a giant group of eager hikers at Lower Arroyo Seco park in Pasadena to start our filming process. Set up by the challenge organizers as a beginner hike for challengers to meet fellow hikers and to introduce us to potential subjects, the mornings hike was lovely, leisurely, and perfect. We mixed and mingled, and were able to take a little time getting to know some great people and hear their stories.

Our new friends are a diverse group. They range from brand new hikers dedicating themselves to this challenge to get healthier so that they can show their children more of what life has to offer, to an army Lieutenant and his girlfriend, who are recent arrivals to California, and are excited to find a way to explore their new home. Another mother, going through the heart ache and disruption of a divorce has taken on the challenge to stay connected with her two children, to help them maintain a sense of continuity in their lives, and to remind them that even through the hard times of life, there is beauty and wonder to be found. And a 24 year old cancer surviver who just refuses not to stay active and live her life to the fullest. 

We at Sea to Summit Productions are already in awe of the people that we've met and had a chance to talk to, and we've only just scratched the surface. We're looking forward to following their journeys over the next year, and we hope that you follow along with us, and share in their triumphs. 

For more information on the 52 Hike Challenge, go to their website 52hikechallenge.com. If you'd like to share your story with us, or would like to know how you can help us share these stories with the world, please email us at studio@seatosummitproductions.com