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Aqua Marine DVD
22/12/2005

Paul Higginson wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his love for the gabbro stone of the Llyn Peninsula, N.Wales. And in Aqua Marine, his first film, he shares his passion for bouldering in and around the area known as Porth Ysgo. Some of the venues have only been developed in the last year or two.

No banging techno soundtracks here, power screams or 'send it dudes'. Instead it is suffused with the gentle rhythms of the lapping waves. You are constantly aware of climbing at the shifting margin where the land meets the sea. While the focus is on the problems, ultimately the climber's gaze looks west, fixing on a passing fishing boat or the glittering water.

The climbing is varied; slabs, crimps and burl fests. As you become absorbed in the flow of climbing it is easy to lose track of the problems: Corner Sauna V8, looks frustratingly smooth but so good, while Cream Seam V4 is a digital delight. The footage of Sam Whittaker attempting the Bytilith Hill crack project will draw plenty of contenders.

Ultimately the film will seduce you, leaving you longing for that contented feeling of tired muscles and sore skin that comes at the end of a good day's climbing, as you watch the sun sink into the Irish Sea.

Available from Joe Brown's, The Great Arete and Ultimate Outdoors at 14.99.


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