Reviews of Rock Climbing Movies. Reviews by a beginner level climber with a fascination for quality climbing films.

Reel Rock 2011 review
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Reel Rock 2011

Reel Rock 2011 reviewedReel Rock Film Tour 2011 starts with a beautiful, magical looking piece on ice climbing. The overhanging wall is covered in massive icicles. The two climbers are obviously loving being there and setting up the route. I often think ice climbing looks like a bit of a nightmare, but this really changed my perspective.

The second film goes hardcore with really nasty, cold conditions in Pakistan. This is the type of alpine climbing which is enough to put anyone off. Terrible cold and isolation. But it is a fantastic piece which is helped by the characters on the adventure. The filmmaker narrates with his own doubts which helps us realize the severity of such a task.

Then it is familiar ground as two guys attempt to free climb El Capitan. This means lots of falls and close ups on tough sequences. Although it feels like this wall features a lot in movies, it is nice to see a new twist.

 beautiful ice climbing wall  “extraordinary climbing with excellent production and a great bunch of climbers”

9 year old Ashima is next up. This is a wonderful segment. It is really cool to see someone so young have such a natural talent. She is coached by an ex climber (Obe Carrison) who got burned out. His teaching is really important to both of them, as we get to see his love of climbing rekindled through inspiring someone else.

Next up is speed climbing on the Nose of El Capitan. There is quite a history to this one and we get to relive it, plus a present day attempt to break the record. This is a slight downturn in Reel Rock 2011, I found it a bit trivial or something. The attempt to break the record and the story is pretty entertaining though, especially on the first watch. Finally there is something a little different with slack lining, which is a pretty cool watch.

Most of this movie is about extraordinary climbing with excellent production and a great bunch of climbers. There is a perfect combination of focus on the problems and interaction with the climbers themselves. And this is all tied together with great filming and music. It did tail off for me a little towards the end, hopefully the next Reel Rock will really be perfection throughout.

4 / 5 stars