Queenstown climber Thomas Van den Berg scales ''the Leviathan'', considered one of Wye Creek's most difficult climbs. Photo by UphighNZ.
Keeping a camera steady while suspended from an overhanging
rock face was just one of the challenges Guillaume Charton
faced while making his film about a Queenstown rock-climbing
Charton's film Wye we love it! has been selected as a
finalist in the best New Zealand-made film category of the
New Zealand Mountain Film Festival, which opens in Queenstown
It features jaw-dropping footage of Queenstown climbers Sally
Ford, Mark Austin, Estelle Poiron and Thomas Van den Berg
making ascents of various routes at the Wye Creek climbing
area, about 18km south of the resort in the Remarkables
It also includes interviews with the climbers and delves into
the history of the area.
Charton spent two months filming late last year before
spending another two months editing six hours of footage -
and more than 6000 still photos for a time-lapse effect -
down to the film's 14-minute length.
Filming had its challenges, such as trying to keep his camera
steady while hanging 30m above the ground from a rock face,
The son of a mountain guide, he had been climbing since he
was 5, and although the risk level was very high, it was
A French language teacher at Wakatipu High School for the
past decade and president of the Queenstown Climbing Club, he
said his film was about ''climbers doing what they love the
''Hopefully, it's going to excite young people - and their
Wye Creek was one of the best rock-climbing areas in New
Zealand, with hundreds of routes.
However, it remained a ''hidden gem'' because of its relative
A 30-minute walk from the road deterred many climbers,
meaning the rock faces had not become ''polished'', he said.
Wye we love it! will be screened at the Queenstown
Memorial Hall on Thursday as part of the second session
beginning at 7pm.