10 Films Every Rock Climber Will Love

If you can't actually be climbing, watching these films is the next best thing.

I've been in a climbing rut all summer...I climbed outside once and in the gym maybe twice? Fall has arrived though and with that comes more time on the rock. In the meantime, I've been watching, rewatching, and anticipating some pretty rad climbing films. Check them out, get stoked, and have a good season!

1. Stumped


Maureen Beck wants to be a good climber. Not good for having one hand, just good. This film tells her story and highlights her progression as an all around badass climber. I personally love all of Mo's content because she is hilarious - she eats tons of candy and oreos, swears like a sailor, and has a dog with a stump just like her named Gimp Biscuit. You can rent or buy the film on Vimeo.

2. Slaydies


Watch as three Slaydies (ladies who slay if you hadn't caught that already) crushing the toughest sport routes and deep water soloing around Mallorca, Spain. The mutual respect, friendship, and camaraderie between Margo Hayes, Paige Claassen and Emily Harrington is tangible and a ton of fun to watch. 

3. Valley Uprising


For me, most climbers, and even a lot of non-climbers, this documentary was an instant hit. It breaks down Yosemite Valley's history from the earliest pioneers of modern rock climbing to the raucous cultural revolution in the sport in the 60s, 70s, and onward, all the way up to the bold, boundary pushing state that Yosemite climbing exists in today. You can watch the whole film on Netflix.

4. Mountain in the Hallway


If you need some motivation to live life to the fullest, this film will do it. Watching Brian McDonnell and Tate MacDowell's reaction to being diagnosed with cancer is truly an inspiration. Grab the box of tissues before you queue this one up...seriously. Brian put it best when he says "f*uck cancer, man" at the summit of the Grand Teton.

5. Meru


Three of the world's best rock climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk make the first ascent of the most technically challenging and dangerous route in the Himalaya, the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru. It's everything you'd expect from that kind of premise and more. The film is available on Blu-Ray and DVD.

6. Of Choss and Lions


I think the Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold bromance is my favorite relationship in rock climbing. Watching those two pal around and climb in Kenya is super entertaining and just plain funny. If you need a feel-good film to watch after you dry your eyes from Mountain in the Hallway, this will do the trick.

7. La Dura Complete: The Hardest Rock Climb In The World


Watch Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma scream very loudly in multiple languages as they work the hardest climb in the world over the course of two years. This will inspire you to work harder in the gym and not feel as self conscious next time you make a loud, involuntary noise as you get spat off a route. 

8. Within Reach


Shelma Jun started Flash Foxy, a climbing community-turned-festival for women that has exploded in popularity since its inception in 2014. This film shows how she came to feel the need to create the festival and how she is working to address the issues of inequality and sexism within the climbing community and industry. 

9. Free Solo


I haven't seen this one myself, but the preview has my attention. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say Alex Honnold and his free solo madness needs no introduction, but just in case see here. For a schedule of screening, check out the National Geographic website.

10. Dawn Wall


This is another new film that I haven't had the chance to see, but is highly anticipated by many, myself included. The film highlights Tommy Caldwell's life, the years of preparation he and his partner Kevin Jorgeson put in, and the historic climb itself. Tommy says it best: "We are capable of so much more than we could ever imagine." Check out screenings here.

Published: September 13, 2018

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