In every walk of life, from politics, sports, education to climbing, the captivating and retentive power of movies has been adopted in narrating stories that have survived decades and given insights into happenings at various periods of humanity’s development.
In rock climbing documentaries & movies’ power has been harnessed to tell the tales of the exploit of climbers as they make the challenging expedition of scaling mountains, thousands of feet above sea level, despite the threat of deadly accidents.
Rock climbing documentaries & movies help bring to the fore the exhilaration and thrill associated with climbing while reminding us of the danger that lurks behind in the backdrop.
Best Rock Climbing Documentaries & Movies
Besides entertainment and knowledge purposes, rock climbing documentaries & movies can also give climbers the right measure of impetus needed to try out various climbing techniques and push their climbing adventure to the next level.
Sourced from several of the best movies that feature the biggest names in make-believe are the 10 best Rock climbing documentaries & movies. These movies feature stories told in an emotional but entertaining manner.
With top of the line plots, that shows the driving force behind the characters, some of whom, unfortunately, lost their lives while engaging in what they held dear to their hearts; climbing.
10. Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
Released five months before the death of Fred Beckey, this 2017 documentary focuses on the climbing lifestyle of one of America’s most loved rock climbers.
The 96 minutes long documentary focuses on the dirtbag lifestyle of Beckey rather than his enviable achievements. The movie kicks off with Beckey climbing expeditions in the 1980s and gives viewers insight into how Beckey loved climbing.
It also touches on how he climbed specific challenging routes in time to complete a guide book. The movie tells the tales of Fred Beckey in an exciting yet emotional manner.
9. The Summit
Despite the level of experience and confidence attained when climbing, the dangers of climbing remain, as revealed by this 2012 movie.
The 95 minutes movie makes use of original footage, interview with survivors, and epic dramatic reconstruction in showing the happenings in the 2008 K2 disaster.
The K2 catastrophe, which occurred in the second-highest mountain in the world, the K2 mountain, saw 11 climbers from 7 countries lose their lives.
Despite the uncertainties surrounding their death, The Summit is an incredible effort to tell the happenings before their deaths and another reminder of how precarious climbing can be.
8. North Face
This 2008 German fiction movie is based on the first attempt to ascend the most dangerous rock in the Alps, the Eiger north. The 121 minutes of suspenseful action gives insight into climbing, specifically mountaineering, in the 20th century.
The challenges climbers in the early part of the 20th century faced are revealed and the ambitious climbers’ ambitious drive. The swift attention climbing in the Alps received with the North Face climbers’ exploits is also perfectly demonstrated.
7. Vertical Limit
When Hollywood ventures into rock climbing, you expect nothing but the best. Director Martin Campbell, famous for directing the 1995 James Bond movie, GoldenEye, did an excellent job in this 124 minutes long 2000 movie.
The film, which combines emotions with action and suspense, focuses on a climber who gathers a rescue team to retrieve his trapped sister and her fellow climbers in the deadly K2 mountain height.
From the fantastic scenery to the plots line, the movie is an incredible work of dramatization.
6. Free Solo
Following Alex Honnold’s accomplishment of one of the most outstanding athletics achievements, free soloing the El Capitan in June 2017, the world had to know his remarkable feat.
The 2018 100 minutes documentary entitled Free Solo summarizes Honnod’s 18-hour ordeal at the El Capitan, and how he successfully overcame various challenges to record the outstanding feat.
The movie was received with acclaim upon release and went on to win a BAFTA and an Academy Award.
5. Touching the Void
Based on the book of the same name written by climber Joe Simpson, the 2003 docudrama movie focuses on the climbing expedition of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates.
They ascended the unclimbed west side of Peru’s Siula Grande mountain in 1985. The ascent to the summit proved to be successful, but as both climbers descended, troubles began.
The 2003 movies clearly show how climber survived storms, injuries, falls, and separation from each other. What would have been another disaster in climbing proved to end on a cheerful note as revealed by the 106 minutes long movie.
This 2015 movie focuses on the emotional bliss that comes with successfully ascending a complicated route as unsuccessful trials.
The 87 minutes long film includes footage captured by climbers Conrad Anker, Renan Ozturk, and Jimmy Chin, as they ascend the notoriously tricky “Shark’s Fin” route of the Indian Himalayas Meru Peak.
The footage recorded by the trio includes footage from their failed 2008 attempt and their successful 2011 attempt. This movie serves as a solid motivation for climbers seeking to climb routes despite multiple failures and setbacks.
3. Cerro Torre: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell
A story that centers on perseverance, persistence, and determination, it centers around late Austrian Climber David Lama’s attempts to free climb the compressor route of the Cerro Torre, an incredibly tricky route.
As incredible as Lama’s plan was, many climbers doubted his chances of success, including American climber, Jim Bridwell, who ascended the Cerro Torre in 1979. Bridwell specifically told Lama, “You haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell.”
The 101 minutes long movie takes viewers on Lama’s multiple trials, which ended on toa successful note.
2. Valley Uprising
The Yosemite valley forms the central theme of the 2014 movie, as directors Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, and Josh Lowell takes viewers on a historic ride to the inception of climbing in one of North America’s most popular climbing spots.
Utilizing brilliant editing, climbing legends, along with hippies down to the modern-day climber, are brought to life, as the climbing culture of the Yosemite in revealed entertainingly.
A must watch movie for climbers and non-climbers, this movie is not just entertaining but educative.
1. The Dawn Wall
The personal touch to this movie adds to the thrills and the emotional story it tells. It focuses on the exploits of renowned climber Tommy Caldwell, who escaped abduction while climbing within Kyrgyzstan.
It also shows how Caldwell struggles with heartbreak and ascends the Dawn wall section of the El Capitan rock at the Yosemite National Park. The movie reveals the most essential details of a professional rock climber’s life in the 21st century.
If you love rock climbing, you can watch any of these intriguing rock climbing documentaries and movies on your devices.
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