• Gareth Crook

Valley Uprising (2014)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Now I’m not a climber, but holy shit this is fantastic. A film sponsored by North Face and Clif Bar does raise some questions, but spanning the origins in the mid 50s to present day, this feels pretty honest and exhaustive. Centred mainly around Yosemite National Park and the legendary El Capitan it tells the story of a revolution against America’s 1950s suburban boredom. Adrenaline junkies, saying “fuck this” to the rules. Pure counter culture. There’s some beautiful Motion Design work on the archive material, which really makes this an immersive joy. It’s about competition and expression, “Getting to the top is nothing. How you do it is everything” - Royal Robbins. As the timeline moves on, we meet the climbers of the 60/70s, the epitome of cool with names like Bullwinkle and The Bird. Ripped hipsters taking on walls on acid, with an emphasis on speed, don’t just get up, get up faster than thought possible. These were the crazies that dreamt up freeclimbing and this is where is gets serious, as we see what today’s climbers are tackling and what they have to contend with, it gets frighteningly intense!

9/10


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