Dichotomy – A Climber’s Journey

Dichotomy – A Climber’s Journey

Video, Art Direction, Story Telling

Dichotomy is a short film about finding the balance between training and the love for the outdoors. Specifically, competition training, aiming for the Olympics and finding the time to get outside.

Every climber has their story, and how they answer the question, ‘why do you climb?’ is different for each of them. This difference is what makes climbing wonderful and so diverse. But the question, ‘what keeps you climbing?’ and ‘what motivates you?’ is something that really interests us.

In our film, Dichotomy, we explore the answers to some of these questions with climber Rachelle de Charmoy. Rachelle personifies the dedicated gym climber, someone driven by goals. She approaches training in a very structured manner, which allows her to achieve amazing feats. But, one of the reasons she climbs is because, well – it’s fun. Climbing outside, as she says “that’s where climbing is supposed to be – climbing outside, that’s the real thing”. This interplay is something that we think a lot of climbers have to balance.

This balancing act will become more prominent as the Olympics draws nearer. Climbers who compete will have to soon decide – focus on the gym and sacrifice climbing outside or do what you love without competition pressure.

On a larger scale, we are starting to see professional climbers take on a new approach to training, like incorporating speed climbing. While there are some uncertainties around the inclusion of speed, it’s great to see this sport get recognised for the physical and mental complexities it pulls from individuals. Climbing is of an Olympic standard and it likely an overdue recognition. Although this could change the landscape of climbing, it will be interesting to see how it develops and where it goes. It’s an exciting space to be in, for all climbers and those connected to the community.

Now we turn to you guys – what do you think? Can you train for the Olympics and still take long trips to Rocklands? If you can’t, what do you pick?


After we made this film, we caught up with Rachelle and asked her what was next:

I want to focus on competition climbing, try to get to some world cups and see if I can get selected for the Olympics. Either way, I should come out stronger…”