Teenagers Ashima Shiraishi and Kai Lightner met in 2014 at the Ring of Fire climbing competition. They were each the youngest of their genders — going head to head with adults. And they both won. That set the standard for everything that’s since unfolded as Shiraishi and Lightner have repeatedly crushed expectations and the competition. “They represent the future of climbing, and the question is, where are they going to take it?” says Meagan Martin, a fellow pro climber. Young Guns hints at the answer as it follows the two climbers around the world, from a V15 boulder in Japan to Thor’s Hammer in Norway. To watch Shiraishi and Lightner climb is to watch art ascend.
Professional climber Matt Segal is in a slump and needs something to shake him out of it. The solution: a two-stroke scooter, his climbing partner Will Stanhope and a harebrained mission — to tandem ride the scooter 200 miles to Aspen, Colorado, to send an ice climb in the middle of winter. In this ode to the cinematic classic Dumb and Dumber, Segal and Stanhope take on snowy conditions, sketchy mountain passes, thick traffic and their own friendship. Will they survive? As one says, “You gotta keep scootering, until you get taken out by a semi…”
Although his Nepalese father trained as a trekking guide, Austrian sport climber David Lama never felt the pull of his paternal homeland. Fifteen years after his last childhood visit to Nepal, Lama embarks on a quest to summit the never-before-climbed, 22,661-foot Lunag Ri with an unlikely partner: American mountaineer Conrad Anker. Although the two have a 27-year age gap, the pairing turns out to be fortuitous as the duo push the limits of alpine climbing. After facing a difficult decision on summit day, Lama comes to appreciate his connection to his Nepalese family and realizes that maybe his genes shape his life as a climber after all.
“There’s a fine line between being bold and being a dumbass. And I think Brad did some time on both sides of the line.” Such are the words filmmaker and climber Cedar Wright uses to describe the subject of his new film. Meet Brad Gobright, 27 years old, busboy at a fine dining establishment, dirtbag, college dropout. Gobright’s diet consists of sprinkled donuts, scraps from work, glazed croissants, apple pie, and any and all junk food. And one other thing: Gobright is one of the best and boldest free solo climbers in the sport — who nobody has ever heard of. Safety Third shines the spotlight on Gobright, probably for a shorter moment than he deserves. But it doesn’t matter. His mind is elsewhere, focused on his next free solo.