High and Mighty
The no-fall zone: It’s what makes highball bouldering the new cutting edge of climbing, where miniscule holds and overhanging routes can stretch more than 30 feet above the ground with no protection beyond a pile of crash pads below. But the thing about pushing bouldering to new heights — literally — is that the consequences also rise. Broken bones, concussions and trips to the hospital are among the more unfortunate results. And sometimes, the mental toughness required is even more strenuous than the actual climbing. This documentary from Sender Films follows the wild personalities who are pushing bouldering into high and mighty places it’s never been before.
Shared adventures in the mountains form deep, lifelong bonds. This short film by Dan Holz and Eric Elofson follows alpinists Kim Havell and Julia Heemstra as they reflect upon life, love and loss during a trip into Wyoming’s Wind River Range. The pair discuss the realities of being female climbers in what is traditionally a male-dominated pursuit and share the pure playfulness and joy of challenging their limits in the backcountry.
When We Were Knights
Understanding that his life was threaded with risk, climber and BASE jumper Matt Blank embarked on a project: writing letters to his closest friends and family to let them know how much they meant to him. That way, he figured, if his life were cut short he’d leave something behind to express his affection.
What he didn’t expect was that one of the recipients — his best friend and longtime climbing partner Ian Flanders — would go first.
When We Were Knights, an elegiac film by Anson Fogel, explores friendship, partnership, adventure and the many iterations of love that give meaning to our lives.
Masters of Slack
One is a naked outlaw, a trouble-making desert rat, a pioneer of the sport. The other is a hard-working and self-disciplined kid from Estonia who is blowing up trick-lining comps all over the world. Andy Lewis and Jaan Roose are undisputed masters of slacklining, pushing the limits of the sport with audacious tricks, risky feats and incredible acrobatics. Their approaches are worlds apart: One flips the bird at authority; the other flips 109 times on command. But what fuels them is the same — passion, creativity and courage.
Long before “dirtbag climber” was an archetype, Gwen Moffat exemplified it. As a young woman in the 1940s, the pioneering British climber pieced together work, camped in barns, hitchhiked from crag to crag, bathed in icy lakes, went days without food, deserted the Army and rearranged her life to maximize time spent scaling rock. She went on to become Britain’s first female mountain guide, as well as a mother, writer and force to be reckoned with. With a rope around her waist and bare feet, she eschewed the path society told her to take in favor of an enduring and adventurous love affair with the mountains.
In Operation Moffat, young climbers Claire Carter and Jen Randall chronicle Moffat’s life, gleaning crucial lessons about sacrifice, passion, love and rock from the 91-year-old legend.