A few weeks ago, Nerve Rush HQ received an email:
I bought two tickets to the Reel Rock Film Tour…The six movies being shown look incredible.
I hopped on over to the website and found this trailer:
Boom goes the dynamite–I was in. Waiting in line, I realized I should have gotten there earlier. The theater was packed.
History of the Reel Rock Film Tour
The first Reel Rock film tour premiered in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado, featuring two new climbing movies. Founded by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer, both who have been producing and directing adventure films for more than a decade, the Reel Rock film tour is organized annually and promotes films about rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, BASE jumping and other adventurous mountain sports. The tours often include gear raffles, athlete appearances and signings and fundraising for non-profit organizations. The tour is put on by Sender Films and Big Up Productions, who team up with North Face and Windstopper as primary sponsors.
Reel Rock Film Tour 2011
This year, the 6th annual film tour kicked off with two winners from a filmmaking competition. The judges picked one winner, and online votes (or “the people”) chose the other winner.
The judges choice, “Crash Pad Test Facility,” featured a comical sequence of tough situations, all of which were handled miraculously by the bouldering crash pad. The people’s choice, “The Climber Kid,” was a climbing parody of The Karate Kid.
There were six other films:
A beautiful film shot at British Columbia’s Helmcken Falls, maniac ice climber Will Gadd, a 30+ year veteran to the sport, shows us his dream climb–a heinously difficult but perfectly aesthetic overhanging climb behind a waterfall. Gadd and Tim Emmett dodge 30 foot icicly bombs and climb undoubtedly the hardest pure ice climb in the world. My favorite part of the film? When Gadd and Emmett used a metal detector to hunt down ice-covered bolts from the previous season. It was hilarious.
“What the fuck am I doing here? We have to get down.” Over the past 26 years, 16 expeditions have tried and failed to climb Gasherbrum II, one of Pakistan’s highest peaks (over 8,000 meters), in the winter. In February 2011, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, and Corey Richards became the first to achieve this goal, surviving -50 degree temperatures and a massive avalanche. In this first-person look at modern super-alpinism, Richards captured both the glory and pain of the trip.
Project Dawn Wall
Tommy Caldwell, one of the world’s best rock climbers, has devoted the last decade of his life to opening free climbing routes on Yosemite’s El Capitan. Three seasons into his ultimate project–the seemingly impossible Dawn Wall–Tommy documents his first big ground-up push, showing us pitch after pitch of 5.14 first ascents. Eventually, an epic storm shuts the team down for the season, but boy did they come back with some nutty footage–imagine what it looks like to sleep on a completely vertical face. Ever heard of a portaledge?
Origins: Obe & Ashima
One of the more inspiring adventure films I’ve seen, Obe & Ashima profiles nine-year old Ashima Shiraishi, a New York City bouldering prodigy under the tutelage of her passionate coach, Obe Carrion, a former professional. In part of the film, they head to Hueco Tanks, TX, seeking out the highest concentration of boulder problems in the U.S., where Ashima tears it apart. After climbing the notoriously difficult V12 Martini Right, Obe says to Ashima, “This is how psyched feels.”
Race for the Nose
It’s the wildest competition known to man, the speed record on the Nose route of Yosemite’s El Capitan. For 50+ years, the world’s best climbers have been one-upping each other, racing up 3,000 feet of vertical granite rock in under 3 hours, risking life and limb to shave mere seconds from the climb. In this film, we follow Dean Potter and Sean Leary, who duke it out with other teams for rock climbing’s ultimate prize.
Sketchy Andy / Slacklife
Andy Lewis is a nutty guy who, among other hobbies, enjoys BASE jumping, naked slacklining and aerial “trick-lining.” This film showcases someone who is pushing the limits–some might think too far–with some pretty gnarly feats. Below are some highlights, not from the film tour, of Andy’s best.