Kentucky Ice Climbing Documentary Film, "Gone Tomorrow"

Ice climbing in Kentucky?! This adventure documentary takes the audience for a bourbon-fueled ride deep into the bushy hollers of Appalachia with a crew of harmless misfits as they race to search out and climb new ice routes before they're gone, with a few surprises along the way.

When most folks think of Kentucky, horses and bourbon are probably the first two things that come to mind.

What most people don’t know, is that nearly every winter for just a brief moment, their exists more frozen waterfalls than anywhere else in the lower 48, maybe even the whole world.

For the last 40 years, small groups of dedicated adventurers have been searching out and climbing this ice with a determined passion, because they know if it’s climbable today, it’ll probably be gone tomorrow.

Ice climbing over open water at a quarry in Central Kentucky.

A hidden ice cave near the Red River Gorge.

Ice climbs in Kentucky are elusive, fickle, but potentially hiding in the back of every holler all up and down the Daniel Boone National Forest. The winter of 2017-2018 was a banner year (meaning it was really cold) and along with a group of local climbers, we dropped everything to get after it.

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40 Years of Kentucky Ice

While this film documents some of the climbs done over the last few ice seasons, it also looks back with interviews from a couple of guys who were snagging first ascents of ice in Kentucky in the 1970s! (photo by Kevin Pogue)

As I realized that this was such a fleeting and rare activity, documenting it with photos and videos became an obsession, second only to my desire to climb what we were finding. This blossomed into an idea for a short film, which grew into something even larger once we started filming interviews. The story starts and ends in Kentucky, but filming took us all the way to Washington and Colorado to chase down some of the original Kentucky ice climbers, and their stories will make your palms sweat as much as they will make you roar with laughter.

The eternally sun-baked classic, Desert Sunshine.

Horseshoe Falls in the Red River Gorge.

Climbing up and out of The Abyss. Photo by  Bryan Miller

Climbing up and out of The Abyss. Photo by Bryan Miller

The result of all of our work through several seasons of filming and a year of editing, is “Gone Tomorrow, The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing.” A 40-minute director’s cut will be shown at a few select screenings, and a shorter 20-minute version will be submitted to film festivals over the next 12-16 months.

Below is a trailer! Please leave a comment below and reach out for information on screening or sponsorships.