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David and Goliath Film: Hans Florine faces off against Peter Hoffmeister

Hans willing to race 3,000 feet of climbing against a random local...

Peter Hoffmeister and Hans Florine Photo by: Jennie Hoffmeister

In Max Buschini and Andrew Petersen’s directorial debut, Peter and the Columns, Hoffmeister challenges Florine to a one-on-one climbing outing at his home crag in Eugene, Oregon, where the first one to reach 3,000 feet wins. 

Starting on Sept. 13 and extending until September 19, co-directors Max Buschini and Andrew Petersen are releasing their new film Peter and the Columns (feat. Hans Florine). Over 16 minutes, the film takes viewers from Yosemite Valley to The Columns in Oregon.

The story begins after Hans Florine’s famous fall on the Nose where he broke both ankles, and after Hoffmeister suffers a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. Before their injuries, Hoffmeister was the top climber at his local crag The Columns, while Florine, with 110 ascents of the world’s most famous big wall — the Nose — was known for his incredible speed on the rock.

Hans Florine Faces off against Peter Hoffmeister
Florine (left) faces off against Hoffmeister. Photo Max Buschini

To regain strength after his injury, Hoffmeister began running laps via a Microtraxion at the Columns, which has 20 routes up to 50 feet with ratings from 5.6 to 5.12. After two seasons he was finally able to complete 64 laps, or 3,000 total feet, the same height as El Capitan. He picked that distance to reach in a day because his hero, Florine, would often train that same height in the gym to prepare for his record-breaking El Cap ascents.

Inspired by Florine and hoping to set up a friendly competition with him, Hoffmeister reached out to award-winning journalist Jayme Moye who co-wrote Florine’s memoir On the Nose: A Lifelong Obsession with Yosemite’s Most Iconic Climb. To his surprise, Florine agreed to the competition. Peter and the Columns features interviews with Moye, Florine and Hoffmeister to bring viewers into their world.

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“If you’re going up against Hans Florine, you’re not going to win,” Moye says before the two climbers face off.

On May 18, 2019 Hoffmeister and Florine went head to head at The Columns. Watch the video to see who won.

Co-director Max Buschini studied film at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Today he lives in Florine’s basement in Yosemite West. Buschini’s film partner Andrew Petersen received a BFA at Utah Valley University and now resides in Orem, Utah where he’s a commercial producer.

Hoffmeister and Florine
Florine (left) and Hoffmeister. Photo Max Buschini

“I love how this project brought people together,” Hoffmeister says. “Hans willing to race 3,000 feet of climbing against a random local. El Cap days are always sufferfests, but the people involved made it awesome.”

Petersen adds, “It’s a climbing story that combines tragedy with hope. It’s a story of new friendships made on the rock.”

To learn more about Buschini and Petersen, follow them on Instagram @maxbuschini and @andrewjmpetersen.

Lead photo: Jennie Hoffmeister