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Having mastered the art of navigating in trees hundreds of feet tall, the Ascending the Giants team set out for an unprecedented enterprise. Completely independent from the ground and unsupported for the duration, climbers Brian French and Will Koomjian crossed a one kilometer transect through a natural grove of an Oregon White Oak woodland forest. All of the equipment needed for this Treeverse, including food, climbing equipment and overnight gear was carried by the two men during the five day canopy trek. Using innovative rope techniques and custom designed tools, their climbing style is low impact and based on the principals of Leave No Trace wilderness ethics. There is currently no documented record of any similar attempt.
Above: Treeverse movement map of the 5 day route through the native grove of Oregon White Oak.
A short documentary is being produced on the efforts of Brian French and Will Koomjian to traverse this one kilometer transect in five days by Uncage the Soul Productions. Set within a visually spectacular oak woodland landscape in Northwest Oregon, this film is primed to engage audiences with stunning cinematography and edge-of- the-seat adventure. The Treeverse will take an intimate look at the friendship, trust, and teamwork between Brian and Will essential to their success, and the innovative methods and equipment necessary to accomplish their goal.
To capture the Treeverse, Uncage the Soul Productions assembled three crews. A rigging crew that traveled in advance of Brian and Will preparing rope systems into the canopy that enabled the camera crew to quickly be positioned for dynamic shots from the forest canopy. As Brian and Will passed by camera positions, the rigging crew dismantled those rope systems and again repositioning them ahead of the action.
Treeverse video trailer - 2:17
Treeverse would not be possible without the help of our title sponsors: Pro Photo Supply, Sterling Rope, Sherrill Tree, Freesolo Photography, Samson Rope and Asia Tree Preservation.
Another shout out to some of our other sponsors who have made sure that Will and Brian were perfectly outfitted and the rigging team can ensure that we get the best shots possible: Rock Exotica, Next Adventure, New Tribe, Sierra Designs, Aarn, Smartwool, Gerber, Innate Gear, Nuun, Clif Bar, Scarpa, Climbmax, Cascade Designs, Widmer, NW Aero Pix, and Red Reel.
During the 5 day feat, photographers Sean O'Connor and Jeff Snyder captured thousands of shots of the landscape, wildlife, the film set and the athletes. There efforts have made publishable memories of the Treeverse available to all. Check out their Treeverse Teaser, a slide show glimpse of their talent behind the camera. All photography of Treevese is courtesy of Freesolo Photography.
Film Production Crew
Blake Johnson(Production Manager) Allie Bombach
Michael Bendixen (Oregon Field Guide, OPB) Jason Anderson (Sound)
Ian McClusksey Sarah Menzies
Bryce Mercer (Production Assistant) Ben Canales
John Kahl (Media Center Manager) Andrew Saunderson
Bill Price (Rigging Manager) Jason Brown Jason Morrow Augie Shilling
Clint Landon Logan Collier James Luce Luke Montelius
Colin Bugg Austin Wienecke Shane Blacktopp Chris Watson
Damien Carre' David Anderson Niel Cuykendall Paul Jerome