GORGING is an adventurous look at canyoneering, the sport of exploring canyons by means of hiking, swimming, climbing and rappelling. Relatively obscure, the sport is most recognizable from the grisly accident of Aron Ralston, who severed his own arm while trapped in a canyon.
Experiencing an overnight spike in popularity by the late 90’s – in the wake of canyon accidents appearing on broadcast news, along with the advent of the internet – the sport became inundated with participants of all backgrounds and skill levels. Faced with a new era of off-the-couch recreationalists, three influential pioneers, a canyoneering instructor, photographer, and guidebook author each respond to a growing interest in the dangerous activity.
Amidst the throngs of new canyoneers emerges Steve Cabourne, an enthusiastic weekend warrior from Los Angeles. Charting his journey from a beginner, Gorging follows Steve’s pursuits as he begins to take on more advanced canyons, placing himself further into more dangerous territory.
A tale of adventure and risk, GORGING employs the story of canyoneering to examine larger questions about the pursuit of thrills and the consequences that follow.
Dennis Turville – The Pioneer
In the mid 1970’s, Dennis and his climbing partners were among the first to make technical descents into canyons throughout southern Utah. After their initial discovery, sensing they had stumbled into something that was sure to become popular, his group had made a pact never tell anyone about their adventures. Even as a professional photographer he never released details about the secret places in his pictures.
Nearly 30 years later, as the sport of canyoneering continues to explode in popularity, Dennis stands sentinel while his favorite haunts are exposed to a new breed of adventurer.
Michael Kelsey – The Guidebook Author
A professional guidebook author, Mike has made a living traveling the world, detailing his outdoor pursuits in his collection of books. Among his first publications, the Hikers and Climbers Guide To the World’s Mountains, Mike included his attempt to be the first solo climber to ascent the Himalayan peak, Masherbrum.
Eventually focusing his efforts on the canyon terrain of southern Utah, Mike developed a series of books on canyoneering. Although his work is considered controversial by some – exposing once secret canyons to the general public – efforts continue unabashedly as he explores remote canyons to deliver new editions of his books.
Rich Carlson – The Founder of the ACA and Instructor
Rich Carlson has built a reputation as the most experienced profession canyoneering guide and instructor in the United States and is considered by some to be the ‘Father of American Technical Canyoneering.’ He started climbing in 1973 while living in Boulder, Colorado, and has since enjoyed climbing and canyoneering in just about every place where canyons can be found. As founder of the American Canyoneering Association, Rich continues to legitimize the sport of canyoneering through instructional courses and literature.
Steven Cabourne – The Recreationalist
Since first discovering the sport in 2003, Steven and his father have been exploring local canyons just a short distance from his home in Los Angeles. Steve’s interest in canyoneering eventually brought him to southern Utah, where he found and instant attraction to narrow, sandstone slot canyons. As he continues to develop his skills, his quest for canyon thrills drives him into increasingly challenging endeavors.
Music/Composer – Greg Reeves
Greg Reeves, is a Los Angeles-based composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, composing in a wide array of genres, and unique hybrids, using today’s technology to full effect. He has composed music for Universal, Fox, A&E, Fuel TV, MTV, Food Network, and others, in styles ranging from electronic to orchestral, punk to ambient, indie rock to americana, and beyond. Commercial work includes Nike, Converse, Mastercard, Miller, Chevy, Land Rover, Coke, and too many others to list.
Included in an impressive list of music adventures, Greg remixed Bob Marley, creating interactive soundscapes for international art festivals and galleries, toured with the Dead Kennedys playing bass, scored symphonic music for the Australian national elections, and more.
Director & Producer
Graduating from New York University, Brian Olliver made a beeline for Utah’s snow-capped Mountains. After an immensely satisfying year immersed in the ski bum-lifestyle, he reluctantly went to work as a freelance filmmaker directing and producing action sports videos. In 2004 Brian was tapped to join Fuel TV (Fox Network Group) where he continued to produce action sport content for television while overseeing production on the network’s signature series, ‘Firsthand.’
Brian eventually began taking on short-form projects, including producing and directing commercial spots. While working with clients like Pepsi and Toyota, he continued to blend the sensibilities of core action sports with mainstream appeal.
GORGING is Brian’s first feature-length film.