On April 21, during the busiest Revelation Mountains climbing season on record, Clint Helander and Graham Zimmerman set out from their base camp under the lights of the Aurora Borealis for the summit of Titanic Peak (ca. 9,300′). The pair established a new route, marking the second ascent of the peak, first climbed by Fred Beckey and his team via the East Face in 1981.
Evan Phillips, a close friend of Helander and a climber whose career was cut short due to injury, took the climbers’ video footage and produced this short film about the ascent. The video is set to a song written by Phillips and recently recorded with his band, Easton Stagger Phillips. “In some ways, the song [“Always Came Back to You”] is about knowing the mountains will always be there, even when everything else in your life is changing,” Philips commented. “Being adaptable and putting my energy into art and music has been a positive thing for me.” In working with Zimmerman’s footage, Phillips says he focused on interpreting the climb in a way that would translate the energy of the song to the story of the ascent. The result is a three-minute edit not focused on the climbers’ gear, their sponsors or even the new route they put up. Instead, it’s a simple yet insightful, “day in the life”-style snapshot of Revelations climbing. Click to play.