Tag Archives: Blue John Canyon

Wayne County Prepares for Flood of Interest in Blue John Canyon

Wyoming Dave spotted this new sign on a signboard in Robber Roost BLM area. Looks like BLM and/or SAR (Search and Rescue) folks in Wayne County are anticipating (or already experiencing?) big interest in Blue John Canyon this season. I’d be interested in knowing which of the two – anticipating or experiencing – is the case. I wonder whether the filmmakers considered the effects of the film on traffic to Blue John. Did they realize hundreds or thousands of folks might come here looking for the “Blue Pool”, only to find it isn’t actually here? Did they consider the possible burden popular interest might put on the volunteer SAR team in a small county with a small tax base? I don’t know that they should have, necessarily, but I wonder if they considered these questions. Of course, it’s impossible to say what influence “127 Hours” will have on Blue John… If it inspires enough interest/visitation, Robbers Roost could become our next National Park. I haven’t looked into it, but I’d be surprised if one or many guide services have not already begun marketing Blue John/127 Hours trips for the 2011 season. I’d imagine a TON of folks would want to … Continue reading

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NY Times Film Critic A.O. Scott Gives “127 Hours” High Marks

“127 Hours” received a gold star and a big win today when New York Times head movie critic A.O. Scott chose “127 Hours” as a hallowed Critic’s Pick, calling the film “nearly flawless”. Wow. This from a guy who regularly shows mediocre films directly to the trash bin. Scott doesn’t actually raise one objection or critique of the film, but rather describes what it is and is not, complimenting the choice with each step. With this sort of endorsement, it seems like Boyle, Franco, and Co. are on their way to great success here, and canyoneering might just be thrust into pop culture in a huge way. After you read Mr. Scott’s typically stimulating commentary (find the beginning excerpt below), check out the Anatomy of a Scene feature, where Danny Boyle talks through a thunderstorm scene from the film, which forces Ralston into a serious Catch-22: Is rain good because it will quench his thirst, or bad because it will flood the canyon and drown him? I guess it is more of a philosophical Catch-22, because when you’re stuck under a boulder, it’s not like you have much choice. “127 Hours” opens in cinemas nationwide tonight. If you see the … Continue reading

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Canyoneer Steve Ramras Offers Perspective on “127 Hours”

I think the big question in the outdoor community over the upcoming canyoneer misadventure-epic “127 Hours” is, “Of course the masses will buy Hollywood’s take on canyoneering… but can you sell US?” Early reviews and interviews have offered encouraging promise, but I had yet to hear from a serious member of the outdoor community regarding the film’s authenticity and value. Canyon diehard Steve “Ram” Ramras DID get to see a preview screening with the Ralston family, however, and recently offered this opinion piece on the Canyons Group forum. Interestingly, Ram seems to find the film strong enough that real-life canyoneers will actually get more out of the film than the lay person, a strong testament to both the story and its telling. Thanks to Ram for offering thoughts in his usual down-to-earth style. 10/31/10 I’ll have to admit that the experience and several images impacted so largely, as to still be with me 4 weeks after seeing (“127 Hours”). There is a hand and a Swiss army knife doing a dance early on that had me doing a knowing chuckle. But how do you really display thirst to people fed, watered and comfortable in lounge chair? They succeeded by taking … Continue reading

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Reflections on Aron Ralston and the Culture of Heroism

“Is Aron Ralston a hero or an idiot?” Since his story emerged in 2003, I feel like this question has been beaten black and blue and purple. But given our culture’s appetite for the story, it doesn’t look like it’s most popular philosophical question will die anytime soon. In his 10/21 piece for London’s The Independent, writer Peter Stanford engages the “hero or idiot” question relative not only to Aron Ralston’s upcoming adventure drama”127 Hours,” but also to the continuing litany of “adventure heros” who gain the limelight in our culture, contrasting them to the every-day folk who “should” be respected and revered, but never really gain acclaim. Should we admire those who “rescue” themselves from predicaments they should have never gotten into? Should a parent who needlessly risks their life in outdoor adventure be celebrated or condemned? And why do these crazies who explore canyons and climb mountains enjoy more celebrity than the average cancer survivor or crime-stopper? Thankfully, Stanford’s opinion is more thoughtful and well-balanced than its title suggests, and perhaps asks more questions than it answers. Have a look at the article, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Should we bestow sainthood on reckless adventurers? Danny Boyle’s … Continue reading

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Aron Ralston, James Franco, and Danny Boyle Comment on “127 Hours” at Toronto Film Festival

As reviews and reactions roll in on the film festival circuit, the media engine is shifting from a hum to a steady roar. Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours”, based on Aron Ralston’s famous showdown with an errant boulder in Bluejohn Canyon, is garnering impressive reviews from a wide swath of critics. Vanity Fair, Time Magazine, Scott Feinberg, and the New York Post, and the L.A. Times all gush over early screenings of the film, creating quite a buzz in not only the film world, but in the on-line canyon discussion groups. Despite the litany of cheesy outdoor adventure films like “Cliffhanger”, “Vertical Limit”, “The Cave” that have made life-like adventure movies a distant dream for most real outdoor adventure enthusiasts, there seems to be an inkling of hope for Boyle’s film. And with reviews like this,  I’m guessing even the most proud and down-to-earth canyoneer won’t be able to resist the allure of “127 Hours” when it hits theaters in November. As Steven Zeitchik of the L.A. Times explains, Boyle rejects the typical action sequences in the film in favor of more initmate, human experiences that actually make the movie MORE real, and thus MORE scary. A number of stories describe … Continue reading

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