Climbing is something you’ve done since you were a little kid. You climb up and down trees and the stairs. Sport climbing is a whole different story, and it’s become increasingly popular, partly thanks to rock climbing movies.
In 2018 alone, over 50 new rock climbing gyms popped up all over the United States. What climbing movies contributed to the upward surge?
The Top 5 Rock Climbing Movies
Alex Honnold is the star of climbing right now. It would be hard-pressed to find a climbing movie without mention of him, like the arguably most successful movie on this list. He was the first person to ever free solo El Capitan in Yosemite, a 3,000-foot tall wall.
1. Free Solo
Free Solo was the winner of the Best Documentary Feature in the Oscar’s in 2018. It follows Alex Honnold as he climbed El Capitan.
The climb was higher than the tallest building in the world, and he did it without any assistance whatsoever. Which means that if he fell, he would plummet to his death. That makes for a great, suspenseful movie.
2. Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
Climbers are also called dirtbags, because of the lifestyle of the sport being nomadic and outdoorsy. Fred Beckey is considered to be one of the first dirtbags, but this movie follows Beckey when he’s well into his 80’s, still climbing. An 80-year-old climbing walls – sign us up.
3. The Dawn Wall
This wall is El Capitan’s biggest challenge. The Dawn Wall follows climbing legend Tommy Caldwell’s ascent up its face.
He climbs with his partner Kevin Jorgeson, and the two dramatically climb the wall together. Also interestingly, Caldwell is missing a finger as a result of an accident he had while working with a table saw.
Meru features a climb up the Shark’s Fin route of the Himalayas, on the north-west side of Meru. This climb is known as the “impossible climb” and is compared to climbing Mt. Everest, with similar difficulty and snowy conditions.
It engages you with the stories of the climbers, and weaves the climb throughout the stories of their lives, so you care about the people you’re watching. Namely, young climbers Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, and Renan Ozturk.
5. Valley Uprising
This film puts a spotlight on the history of climbing culture as it evolved through the years in Yosemite. If you think you’re in for two hours of boring history, you’d be wrong.
It details the radical stories of the daredevils that went before us to establish the sport, and will inevitably inspire you to take a risk in your life, whether it’s with climbing or whatever you want to do.
Get Watching, Get Climbing
Now that you have the best rock climbing movies to add to your list, perhaps you’re inspired to go climbing yourself.
If you haven’t already gotten yourself your gear, find it at Butora. You’ll get the best climbing gear, the best climbing tips, and you’ll be ready to get out there and make your own movie-worthy adventure.