Last Thoughts On The Dirtbag

Words by: Luke Mehall
Director: Greg Cairns

Mehall is the author of five books, including The Desert, a dirtbag climbing book. He is also the publisher of The Climbing Zine.

You can score one of his books and/or zines here:
https://squareup.com/store/the-climbi…

Greg Cairns of Cairns Film is a filmmaker, storyteller, and river guide. Check out more of his material here:

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Two years ago I pitched an idea about a film I really had nothing more than a spark of an idea for to Greg Cairns. I’d seen Cedar Wright and James Lucas’s “The Last Dirtbag” and felt compelled to offer something of my own to this conversation about dirtbags and whether or not any real ones exist anymore.

Of course the question is bullshit, people still live in the dirt, out of bags, we have just entered a new era, one where technology can take away a lot of the mystery of climbing, and it is getting harder and harder to make extended stays on public land.

In the end the question did not matter. What mattered was how I felt about my time as a dirtbag. I ended up structuring the piece I wrote to go with the film similarly to how Bob Dylan structured “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie“. Climbing and the characters I’ve met along the way mean everything.

In the end I don’t care about the word dirtbag, it’s just a word. And our film, it’s just a film, but we labored over it in love, and I have a lot of love for our community. And I wrote this piece from the heart, and as a writer that is all I can aim for. I hope you enjoy it, as much as we enjoyed making it.

-Luke Mehall

The Videos

Last Thoughts On The Dirtbag

Words by: Luke Mehall
Director: Greg Cairns

Mehall is the author of five books, including The Desert, a dirtbag climbing book. He is also the publisher of The Climbing Zine.

You can score one of his books and/or zines here:
https://squareup.com/store/the-climbi…

Greg Cairns of Cairns Film is a filmmaker, storyteller, and river guide. Check out more of his material here:

Home

Two years ago I pitched an idea about a film I really had nothing more than a spark of an idea for to Greg Cairns. I’d seen Cedar Wright and James Lucas’s “The Last Dirtbag” and felt compelled to offer something of my own to this conversation about dirtbags and whether or not any real ones exist anymore.

Of course the question is bullshit, people still live in the dirt, out of bags, we have just entered a new era, one where technology can take away a lot of the mystery of climbing, and it is getting harder and harder to make extended stays on public land.

In the end the question did not matter. What mattered was how I felt about my time as a dirtbag. I ended up structuring the piece I wrote to go with the film similarly to how Bob Dylan structured “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie“. Climbing and the characters I’ve met along the way mean everything.

In the end I don’t care about the word dirtbag, it’s just a word. And our film, it’s just a film, but we labored over it in love, and I have a lot of love for our community. And I wrote this piece from the heart, and as a writer that is all I can aim for. I hope you enjoy it, as much as we enjoyed making it.

-Luke Mehall

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Just A Climber, For Bears Ears…BLOOPER reel

Greg Cairns and Luke Mehall joke that it took them 2 years to create the 3 minute film, Just A Climber, For Bears Ears. Here’s a few outtakes that capture that process.

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Climber Gratitude (I MISS + I AM GRATEFUL 4) by Luke Mehall and Jake Burchmore

Dedicated to Mehall’s fiancee Amber DeHerrera and all the medical professionals out there fighting COVID (and everything else).

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13 Seconds of Try Hard in Indian Creek

Footage shot by Jake Burchmore, an outtake from Grateful Hussle

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I MISS + I AM GRATEFUL 4 by Luke Mehall

A Message From Mehall 27. The poem one. 4.22 (EARTH DAY)

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A Message From Mehall 24. 4.17.20

Luke Mehall, publisher of The Zine has been making a video nearly every day while “sheltering in place”. This is #24.

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Purple Reign finger crack

Footage from Purple Reign, a climb that Luke Mehall and Dave Marcinowski established in Indian Creek, Bears Ears National Monument. Shot by Greg Cairns, during the filming of Just A Climber, For Bears Ears.

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Grateful Hussle

For 20 years Luke Mehall, publisher of The Climbing Zine has been writing climbing poems. In 2020 he’s decided to give the writers who inspired him a tribute. Dedicated to Robert Hunter, who was Jerry Garcia’s lyricist, and Nipsey Hussle, the rapper and entrepreneur, who both died last year, Grateful Hussle blends hip-hop and hippie, all while set in Indian Creek, within Bears Ears National Monument; an area that is highly endangered with recent cuts by the Trump administration. Filmed and edited by Jake Burchmore.

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