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Climbing

The Artist: Boone Speed

From his routes and standard-raising ascents to his photos documenting this game we play in the vertical, Boone Speed helped sculpt what this sport is today.

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“Whoever had contact with Boone Speed will have felt a force of a person,” says Black Diamond Athlete Sam Elias.

To take it a step further, if you’re a climber, you’ve likely felt the force of Boone Speed without having ever met him. Maybe you’ve tried one of his routes, which span across the western US like constellations, telling the story of progression for hard sport climbing in this expansive country. Or perhaps you’ve just picked up a climbing magazine at some point in the last decade and seen a photograph that has stirred a deep emotion inside your soul, caused your palms to sweat and inspired you to rope up again and again. Glancing at the byline, that ubiquitous name—Boone Speed—sits against the glossy page.

[Also Read Boone Speed Photo Gallery: Inside and Out – The Fine Art of Climbing]

The truth is that Boone Speed, for many of us, is a living legend. From his routes and standard-raising ascents to his photos documenting this game we play in the vertical, Boone Speed helped sculpt what this sport is today.

This film, made by Mike Call, is the story of climbing’s consummate artist.


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