19th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival / Film Archive from 1999–2017

Archive of the  Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festivals …1999 — 2017



Film Selection

First Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7 PM, Saturday, October 9, 1999

Location:  Pabbay, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Climbers: Lynn Hill and Dave Cuthbertson 

Director/Producer: Richard Else

The last families left the tiny Hebridean island of Pabbay at the beginning of this century but recently a small group of ambitious climbers have been making the complicated journey back there to explore some of the most exciting sea cliff climbing in Britain.

Now Dave Cuthbertson – universally known as ‘Cubby’ – and Lynn Hill undertake a trip to attempt what will be the hardest traditional route in the country. Cubby’s arguably the best all rounder ever to come out of Scotland; while Lynn, from America’s west coast who also spent a number of years climbing in the Gunks, is probably the most accomplished female climber in the world. They plan to make a first ascent of Pabbay’s fearsomely overhanging Great Arch but faced with unpredictable weather, limited time and unsure of the very rock itself, they are not optimistic about the chances of success.

For a week their lives are dominated by the Great Arch and whether they will able to climb it. Eavesdropping on their attempts, we witness moments of hope and despair and see these two superb climbers perform at a standard that is beyond all but a tiny elite group. As the final day approaches and the route remains unclimbed, the key question remains, ‘Have Cubby and Lynn overestimated both their own abilities and the difficulty involved in climbing out over the arch?’

Location:  The Cirque of the Unclimbables, Canada

Climbers:  Barry Blanchard and Nancy Feagin

Director/Producer: Richard Else

Barry Blanchard, Canada’s best known and most charismatic mountaineer is a seventh generation Metis – French, Canadian and American Indian – makes a first journey to one of the most deserted parts of his own Country. Barry, a mountain guide who lives near the Canadian Rockies, has a lifestyle that has always been precarious but has enabled him to climb some of the hardest mountain routes in North America and the Himalaya.

He joins forces with American Nancy Feagin, one of a new generation of outstanding female rock athletes, to attempt the 2000-foot vertical face of Mount Proboscis. Nancy has progressed from sports climbing and competitions (where she was highly successful) to big wall climbing. Nancy, who is now a professional climber, has degrees in computer science and electrical engineering but walked out of her job one Friday afternoon to go climbing and has never returned.

The Cirque of the Unclimbables is one of the world’s least visited landscapes and can only be reached by a tortuous journey involving dirt roads and specially chartered float planes and helicopters. There are no written guidebooks to this area and the Cirque is not marked on any maps. Here Barry and Nancy are totally on their own and explore some of the most dramatic and taxing climbing to be found anywhere in the world.

In a race against time and fickle weather, they inch their way up this sheer granite wall battling against wet rock, difficult holds and, in Barry’s case, a quick temper. After sleeping high on the mountain, bad weather finally closes in and reaching the summit remains risky and uncertain.

Location:  Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Climbers:  Greg Child and Andy Parkin

Director/Producer: Richard Else

Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War adventurous tourists are now discovering this often misunderstood Asian country. Among them are two highly enterprising climbers, Greg Child and Andy Parkin, who want to be amongst the first to climb on some of the 3,000 islands that make up Ha Long Bay. These myriad of islands, which have been described as one of natural wonders of the world, are sculptured into evocative shapes and rise sheer from the clear emerald waters of Tonkin Bay in the north of the country.

Greg Child is one of the world’s most experienced high altitude mountaineers having summitted on Everest and K2, while Andy Parkin cheated death after an appalling accident which has left him with permanent injuries but has not stopped him undertaking a series of bold, ambitious first ascents. Both climbers have heard that there might be enormous potential for prized new routes in Ha Long Bay but nothing has prepared them for what they find – literally hundreds of possible first ascents that would keep even the most determined climber busy for years to come.

Location:  Cederberg Mountains, South Africa

Climbers:  Joe Simpson and Ed February

Director/Producer: Richard Else

Ed February is South Africa’s most famous black climber yet for many years he was isolated within the sport and not even allowed to visit parts of his own country, including the Afrikaners owned land in the Cederberg mountains outside Cape Town.  Now he is making up for lost time and has joined forces with British mountaineer Joe Simpson.

Unlike Ed, Joe has an international reputation with many bold ascents to his name. Yet he is best known for his book Touching the Void, which graphically describes his battle for survival following an accident in Peru. For Joe a visit to the Cederberg mountains is a return to his climbing roots and in a memorable week of climbing he and Ed February establish a spontaneous friendship based on mutual respect and a common love of a sport that has profoundly influenced both their lives.

Second Annual

Saturday, October 14, 2000

Mali: The Hand of Fatima

USA, 1998, 48 minutes

Producers: American Adventure Productions/Outdoor Life Network; Camera, Peter Mallamo and Bill Hatcher

The air is a scorching 118 degrees and the dust from the Sahara hasnÕt stopped blowing for days. Flies are on everything, food is scarce and everyone is sick with either malaria, diarrhea or some other unfriendly infection.

Who would tolerate such harsh conditions? Todd Skinner  USA, Ed February  South Africa, Andy de Klerk-South Africa, Paul Piana  USA, and Scott Milton-Canada. The Hand of Fatima is located near the ancient city of Timbuktu. The route, Harmattan Rodeo, consists of 13 pitches, which range in difficulty from 5.10a to 5.13c and is mostly face climbing on an arete with a few intermittent cracks.

Stone Soup

Canada, 1999, 4 minutes

Director: Janet Rodden  Producers: Janet Rodden, Julia Barrick Taffe

Stone Soup captures some of the vast potential for vertical choreography in Squamish and Whistler, Canada. Professional dancer and guide, Julia Barrick Taffe, brings her unique perspective in dance and climbing together in three movement sketches for this film.

Wild Climbs: Colorado

UK, 1999, 30 minutes

Director/Producer: Richard Else

Stevie Haston claims to be the best ice climber in the world. He is indisputably the sports most controversial personality  a man who is notorious for his opinions and for his climbing. This portrait of Stevie, on and off the rock, is an insight into a driven individual dominated by the demands of professional climbing. The film follows Haston and his partner, Laurence Goualt, on an American road trip which builds to a heart-stopping climax in Vail. Here, Stevie has unfinished business with what is undoubtedly the hardest mixed ice climb in America. This dramatic, dangerous route culminates in a hanging pillar of ice and tests Stevie’s nerves, skill and endurance. It requires him adopting the most contorted positions imaginable in an attempt to try to achieve his goal.

Dhaulagiri Express

Croatia, 2000, 41 minutes

Produced and Filmed by: Stipe Bozic

Stipe Bozic, who has successfully climbed the Seven Summits, is the only person to have filmed on the world’s three tallest mountains. Tomaz Humar has already received notoriety for his numerous ascents in the Slovene Mountains, the Dolomites, and the Central Alps, but his achievements in the Himalayas place him side to side with the world’s top contemporary alpinists.

Dhaulagiri Express is a story about Tomaz’s 11 days of hard and dangerous solo climbing on the south face of Dhaulagiri in Nepal Himalayas. It was a merciless struggle for survival. He has shifted the limits of human abilities. Climbing alone, he ascends an almost 4,000 meter high wall, one of the most dangerous in the world.

The Mandala

USA, 2000, 4 minutes

Producer: Josh Lowell, Big Up Productions

The Mandala follows the incredible first ascent by Chris Sharma of a boulder problem of the film’s name. The Mandala is the hardest, most inspiring piece of rock in the Buttermilks featuring powerful moves on very thin, polished granite with widely spaced holds. 


Third Annual

New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

8:00 PM Saturday, October 13, 2001

Big Wall Climbing on Baffin

USA 2000, 48 minutes
Produced By- American Adventure Productions

Director of Photography- Peter Mallamo – www.reeladventure.net

Additional Photography-John Middendorf


Baffin Island, straddling the Arctic Circle on the edge of Canada, contains some of the biggest and steepest granite walls on Earth. An expedition of three climbers, Mike Libecki, Josh Helling, and Russell Mitrovich will attempt to summit an unclimbed granite big wall, either the 3,300-foot Kiguti Wall or the Fin, a dramatic two thousand foot granite cliff. Both are virgin granite walls stretching vertically between 2,000 and 5,000 feet into the skies.

To ascend the granite face will demand a combination of difficult aid and free-climbing where the climbers will need to use all their resources, experience, and technique to succeed. It will be a race against time to complete the ambitious climb before the frozen sea melts, washing away their escape back to civilization by dogsled or snowmobile.

Wild Climbs: Czech Republic
UK, 1999, 30′
Producer/Director: Richard Else
Andy Cave and Leo Houlding are two British climbers with a world-wide
reputation. Both are bold, confident and incredibly talented and both will
take the sport into the 21st century. In this film they climb the sandstone
towers of the Czech Republic.


4th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM Saturday, October 4, 2002

Canada, 2002,14 minutes

Directors:  Pat Morrow (www.patmorrow.com) and Glen Crawford; Producer, Pat Morrow
Editor Jason MacLeod, Internal Burn Productions; (www.internalburn.com)

Two Canadian climbers, Will Gadd (www.gravsports.com) and Ben Firth, combine rock, ice, a massive open mouth cave and spirit to take mixed climbing to the next level.

Reticent Wall

Crotia, 1999, 30 minutes
Directed and produced by Stipe Bozic (www.everesthistory.com/stipe)

One of the world’s most respected alpinists, Tomaz Humar from Slovenia, solo climbs the A5 Reticent Wall on El Cap. The film shows both a perspective of super alpinism and difficult technical rock climbing. Dhaulagiri Express, which showcased.


Professional Climbing Association Tour

US, 2002, 4 minutes

Filmed and Produced by Mike McCall/ M.C. Productions

PCA tour highlights from the tours qualifying season (2000-01) at the Front Climbing Club in Salt Lake City.


UK, 2000, 25 minutes

Producer and Director: Mark Trurnbull, (www.intrepid.tv)

equilibrium is the remarkable documentary of a month in top English climber Neil Bentley’s life, building up mentally, physically and tactically for an attempt at the rock climb he has dedicated years of his life towards achieving. The climb which would become England’s hardest traditional route if ascended, is the first and only grade E10 on gritstone.

USA, 2001, 10 minutes
Producer and Director: Josh Lowell/Big UP Productions; (www.bigupproductions.com)

Legendary Austrian boulderer Klem Loskot climbs ropeless above the sea on the island of Mallorca, Spain. Huge dynos on 60-foot tall limestone walls with only the ocean as a crashpad. “Psicobloc” is the Spanish name given to this style of climbing – bloc means bouldering, and psico, well, you get the idea… Past films shown at the New Paltz Climbing Film Festival by Josh Lowell were The Mandala and Blue Ice.

Wadi Rum, Jordan

UK, 30 minutes

Producer and Director:  Richard Else, Triple Echo Productions

Veteran British climber Tony Howardes , who is best known for the first ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall with its famous ‘vertical mile’ in the 1960’s, became fascinated by the dramatic landscape only to discover that virtually no one, apart from the native Bedouin, had ever climbed in these mountains.

Front Range Freaks, Urban Ape

USA, 10 minutes

Producer and Director: Peter Mortimer, Axoloti Productions

Once in a while (it only seems) there is nothing left to climb – Urban Ape showcases Timmy O’Neill (www.timmyoneill.com) climbing urban installations with spontaneous, comedic dialogue.

5th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM Saturday, October 11, 2003


Viewing climbing films is inherently dangerous. Any person viewing these films must assume the responsibility for obtaining competent professional instruction for proper use and must assume responsibility for all damages and injuries.

Friction Addiction

US, 2002, 11 minutes, Produced by Kurt Smith, Charles Fryberger, Bennet Scott

Introduced in person by Kurt Smith

Friction Addiction brings you an amazing summer of daring run outs and highball ascents from the sharp end of South Dakota’s Black Hills.  John Gill provides insights into the cradle of American bouldering and John “The Verm” Sherman and a host of others check their mettle against the crystalline South Dakota granite.

Vertical Frontier

US, 2002, 55 minutes. Producer/Director Kristi Denton Cohen, Peloton Productions

From John Muir in the 1860s to the super-athletes of today, Vertical Frontier tells the saga of the free-spirited climbers whose contribution to mountaineering technique, equipment and ethics allowed them to be the first to conquer the legendary big walls of Yosemite.

Illustrated by spectacular old and new footage, the story is told by Yosemite personalities such as Long, Bridwell, Steck, Brower, Harding, Hill, Croft, Robbins, Kauk, Chouinard and Potter.

Ice Axis –  Disco

US, 2003, 5 minutes, Director, Rich Purnell. Production Company,  M9entertainment

There is a time when nothing else matters but the moves ahead a time that makes or breaks a redpoint, send or onsight.  Mixed climbing is a suspension between the conscious and the unconscious mind. To successfully climb in both mind sets is the ultimate task which is the turning point of each and every route. Ice Axis depicts the battle of a climber’s determination to focus at the task and to succeed at one route –  DISCO. It is one the most gruesome climbs in Vail – not only are the falls dangerously close to the ground but the techniques used to climb this route are futuristic and mind expanding.


Poland, 2002, 11 minutes, Produced by the Polish National Film School and Directed by Dawid Leszek;

This film is a portrait of Marcin Tomaszewski, a 26-year-old solo climber who has devoted his life to climbing.  He doubts the wisdom of the commitment that he has made, but climbing is what gives harmony to his life.

Shadows of the Soul

US, 2003, 6 minutes, Produced and Directed by Joe Iurato, IndeVisual Productions

Introduced in person by Joe Iurato

A circle of friends share their deep passion for bouldering in the shadows of the Shawangunks. The personal and visually stunning relationship between these climbers and the rock itself was the inspiration for this short film.

Climbing Whitney-Gilman Ridge on Cannon Mountain

US, 1938, 13 minutes, Produced by Kenneth A. Henderson, American Alpine Club

Introduced in person by William Atkinson, Chair, Northeast Section, American Alpine Club

Join Ken Henderson as he looks back at climbing in the 1930’s and follow the Harvard Mountaineering Club as they climb Whitney-Gilman Ridge in 1938.

6th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM Saturday, October 9, 2004

Roc Trip Gunks

France, 2004  (Director/Producer Laurent LaFouche, Guillaume Broust)

United States and international heroes boulder the hard lines at the Gunks. Climb with some of the best …Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Daniel Dulac, Tony Lamiche, Liv Sansoz, Beth Roden, Jerome Meyer, Steve McClure, and many others.

Set in Stone

UK, 2003  (Director/Producer Caedmon Mullin)

Caedmon documents a hard deep-water solo ascent of an 8a route in Southern England.  It is also a look at one of the sports quieter stars.  Ken Palmer is at 39 still one of the UK’s leading sport climbers, but living in Devon, away from the main climbing scene he has avoided the hype that most top climbers are subjected to.  This climber is first a father and a husband

A Brief, Biased History of Big Wall Climbing

USA, 2004   (Produced/Directed by Jeremy Collins and Timmy O’Neill)

The history of big wall climbing has been fraught with spectacular accomplishments and evolutionary dead ends.  A Brief, Biased History of Big Wall Climbing is a missing linkage between these feats of greatness and, well… see for yourself. Produced by Timmy O’Neill and climbing artist Jeremy Collins, this is an irreverent and entertaining animated film.

The Adventure is Not Just Over

UK, 2004  (Director/Producer, Richard Else, Production by Triple Echo Productions)

One of the best of the new generation of young climbers, Leo Houlding, teams up with one of the greatest legends in mountaineering, Sir Chris Bonington, out to Australia for three grueling climbs in the fabulous Blue Mountains near Sydney.

Dreams In Bleau
USA, 2004  (Director/Producer Joe Iurato, An IndeVisual production
Follow four climbers from the New York area as they seek the experience of a lifetime in the magical forest of Fontainebleau, France.  Tranquil, Mysterious, and Inviting.  More than just a film about bouldering, it is an extraordinary encounter with art, culture, and one of Bleau’s greatest living legends, Jo Montchaussè.

Le Bucher des Vanites (Bonfire of the Vanities)

France, 2004  (Director, Guillaume Broust)

Sebastian Constant tells about the first ascent with Jerome Mercader of the Bonfire of Vanities, the first route up the north face of Pharilapcha -Machermo (6017 m) in Nepal.  Pharilapcha is among the trekking peaks of the Khumu opened in 2002 by the Nepalese Mountaineering Authority. In November 2003, climbing alpine style with 22 pound packs, they established the Bonfire of Vanities (VI W14 M5, 1000m) on the right side of the north face.

7th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Escape from Alcatraz

Directed and Produced by: Christopher Alstrin

This film documents Rich Purnell’s first ascent of the endlessly horizontal Alcatraz, perhaps the most difficult mixed rock-and-ice climb in the US. (USA, 2005, 12 min)                   

Baltic Sea Bouldering  

Directed and Produced by: Torsti Laine and Chris Smith (Sundial Media)

In 2003, climbers from Britain, Sweden and Finland descended upon the sleepy archipelago of Åland in the Baltic Sea to discover for themselves its combination of spectacularly beautiful scenery and array of climbing problems.  The film presents an insight into how such climbers as Ben Moon, Erik Massih and Tomi Nytorp tackle this fresh and exciting new bouldering destination. It is a “compelling and thoughtful” film about bouldering in an extraordinary setting, including a fascinating look at how some of Europe’s best climbers tackle an unclimbed highball project that stretches mental strength to the limits. (Finland, 2003, 20 min)

Jamestown Purchase

Produced by Will Eccleston; in person Will Eccleston

“The Jamestown Purchase” highlights the 2004 purchase of a historical  sandstone crag in Jamestown, Alabama by the Southeastern Climbers  Coalition.  Includes history and highlights of this classic traditional crag, now a permanent climber-owned preserve. (USA, 2005, 4 min)

Get Awesome

Produced and directed by Mike Call, MC Production; in person Ivan Greene

“They say” Bouldering in the Gunks is seeing an influx of new problems, in both remote areas and in plain view of the most popular areas. Ivan Greene, a leader in the bouldering scene here in the Gunks, shows some cutting edge, new school climbing that is happening right now. (USA, 2005, 16 min)

Fools With Tools

Directed and produced by Paul Diffley & David Brown, Hot Aches Productions.

“Fools with Tools” is a fast flowing climbing film which doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film focuses on the efforts of a group of relatively unremarkable but determined climbers from Edinburgh and their attempts to repeat Scott Muir’s dry tooling test piece ‘Fast and Furious’. It follows the ‘fools’ from their indoor training, past the easier ‘warm up’ routes, to finally show their attempts on ‘Fast and Furious’ itself. It combines a self-deprecating sense of humor with genuine human emotion that surfaces when climbers push themselves to their own physical and mental limits. (UK, 2004 16 min)

The Optimists                                                                            Director/Producer: Josh Lowell

Superstar climbing couple Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell spent six weeks at SmithRock, Oregon, last fall. This footage documents two incredible first ascents: Beth’s of The Optimist (5.14b), the hardest climb ever done by an American woman; and Tommy’s of Spank the Monkey (5.13d), one of the most beautiful sport climbs in the country. (USA, 2005, 17 min)

Long Brevity – Mt. Logan East Ridge

Produced by Alex Lavigne a.k.a. A Lias

Four friends attempt a traverse of Mount Logan, Canada tallest mountain climbing the East Ridge and descending the West side of the mountain on skis. (Canada, 2004, 15 min)


Produced and edited by Joe Iurato, IndeVisual Productions, in person Joe Iurato

Fuse was shot in Hueco Tanks, Texas, Fontainebleau, France and the Shawangunks, New York. It’s a journey to feed the bouldering soul. Sometimes the sun shines in your backyard and other times mother nature won’t relent while you’re halfway around the world in search of the experience. Doesn’t matter. It’s all about chance, circumstance and drive. It’s a life worth more than any bank could hold. And with that, there’s never a minute that you don’t feel satisfied, fortunate, and completely alive. (USA 2005, 5 min)

First Ascent of Pinnacle Gully

Produced by Ken Henderson

Original footage of the first ascent in 1939 of Pinnacle Gully in Huntington Ravine on Mt. Washington. (USA, 1940, 11 min)

Bachar: Man, Myth, Legend

Produced by Michael Reardon

A short portion of Michael Reardon’s film chronicles the extraordinary climbing career of John Bachar. Recognized as the most talented climber of his era, Bachar possessed not only incredible skills but nerves of steel. His unroped ascents of some of Yosemite’s test pieces stunned the climbing fraternity and earned him a deserved place in Yosemite legend. (USA, 2005, 15 min)

8th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 14, 2006

Music by singer /song writer Alex Schein (www.alexschein.com/bio.html)

Photographs by Matt Calardo (www.mattcalardo.com)

Klem Loskot: presentation based on his new book, Emotional Landscapes. www.klemloskot.com


First Ascent: 2006, produced and directed by Peter Mortimer, Sender Films (www.senderfilms.com)

First Ascent of Cobra Crack

The elegant, granite Cobra in Squamish, British Columbia is perhaps the hardest crack climb in the world. And the Swiss climber Didier Berthod is among the world’s best singe-pitch crack climbers. Far from the spotlight, Didier spends months battling weather, poverty and the sheer difficulty of the Cobra Crack in his epic quest to snag the first ascent.

Tombstone Goes Down

Dean Potter attempts the first free ascent of a legendary Indian Creek pillar, takes a massive fall, then nails it. Then he jumps off the top.

Deep Water Soloing in Thailand

Steep towers of untouched rock jutting out of the ocean. And the best part is, with only the sea below you, there’s no rope. Thailand is a dream come true for David Lama, perhaps the best on-site climber in the world, and purportedly the future of the sport. Amidst the exotic beauty of the Andaman Coast, Lama and friends take 60-footers into the drink, and bring deep water soloing to a new level.

Into the Black

One of the last great adventure climbing spots in North America, Colorado’s Black Canyon is as beautiful as it is intimidating. 2,000-foot drops, loose rock and poison ivy thwart the path to some of the most gorgeous – and hard – alpine crack lines remaining for Free Ascents. We join up with the two best men for the job – Jared Ogden and Topher Donahue – as they conquer the choice lines, debate the drunken Aussies and support a harrowing, near-death rescue on the rock.


Harvest Moon

A Swiss team of climbers attempt a new, bold route on Thalay Sagar, in the Himalayas, one of the most beautiful mountains at the top of the world. Astounding footage captures the 20-day push, through a dangerous storm, to the summit.


Urban Ape L.A.

The Urban Ape is back, this time waging an assault on the concrete jungles of Los Angeles. Timmy O’Neill puts his guerrilla climbing techniques to the test on office parks, public sculptures and places of worship..

Dosage Vol 4

2006, Produced and Directed by Josh Lowell, Big Up Productions (www.bigupproductions.com)

Big Up’s Dosage series is the definitive annual portrait of climbing’s state-of-the-art. Volume IV follows the biggest names in sport climbing, trad climbing, and bouldering as they make historic ascents at spectacular locations around the world.

  • Tommy Caldwell’s marathon El Capitan linkup, free climbing both The Nose (5.14a) and Freerider (5.12d) in under 24 hours;
  • Chris Sharma’s first ascent of Dreamcatcher (5.14d) in Squamish, BC;
  • Dave Graham’s first ascent of Coup De Grace (5.15a) in Ticino, Switzerland;
  • Lisa Rands’ first female ascents of scary grit routes in England’s Peak District;
  • Sharma and Graham opening a new level of hard bouldering in Hueco Tanks, Texas; and much more.

9th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM – Saturday, October 6, 2007

Opening: film clips from Shawangunk Pump!

This film by longtime Gunks climber and photographer/writer Julie Seyfert Lillis highlights 25 classic roofs. Witness your fellow Gunkies groping, humping, and sometimes even styling these harrowing features that make the Gunks so unique in the world.


King Lines, produced and directed by Peter Mortimer, Sender Films, and Josh Lowell, Big UP Productions

The opening act for King Lines is a highlight showing of Committed, a new film documenting the legendary British appetite for hard and dangerous rock climbing, by filmmakers Dave Brown and Paul Diffley of Hot Aches.

Chris Sharma’s King Lines                                                                    

His first stop, in September 2006, was off the coast of Mallorca, Spain, where, without a rope, he climbed a spectacular route on a massive rock arch surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. This deep water solo tested Sharma time and time again over the course of several visits. When interviewed during filming in Mallorca, Sharma deemed the route, which he named Es Pontas, more challenging than all the climbs he’d ever done.

We next follow Sharma to remote jungle plateaus of Venezuela; to stunning, untouched limestone walls of France’s Gorge du Verdon; to the sea cliffs of Kalymnos in Greece, as well as to Nevada, where Sharma works on a new, difficult breakthrough route. Along the way, Sharma is joined by fellow climbers, BASE jumpers and other adventure junkies, and the film reveals the compellingly private and focused personality of the man on the cutting edge of his amazing sport.

10th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM Saturday, October 11, 2008

featuring 2008 REEL ROCK TOUR IV

  •  REEL ROCK Filmmaking Competition film winners
  •  Grand Canyon Walls: Big Up and Sender Films join forces to bring this short film about a three week trip down 
the Grand with Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell and Chris McNamara
  •  On Sight: by Alastair Lee focusing on scary trad routes in the U.K.
  •  Aerialist: excerpt of film by Brad Lynch which follows Dean Potter
  •  Rocklands, South Africa from Big UP Productions with Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson and Tommy Caldwell
  •  The Sharp End by Sender Films. The feature for the evening, directed by Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen, tells the story of the lunatic climbers pushing the fringe of scary, dangerous climbing …

11th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM  Saturday, October 10, 2009

                                       Reel Rock V

  •  Introductions to the films by Josh Lowell, Big Up Productions
  • REEL ROCK Filmmaking, 3 Competition film winners… Humor/Spoof; Action/Inspiration; and Judges Choice
  • First Ascent: Filmmaker Peter Mortimer and Nat l Geo team up to bring this two- part special. The first episode follows Alex Hannold on his epic free-soloing adventures. The second  follows Renan Ozturk and Cedar Wright in Patagonia
  • Progression by Josh Lowell (in person) from Big Up Productions. The feature for the evening with Chris Sharma on Jumbo Love Kevin Jorgeson on Ambrosia, Patxi Usobiaga and Johanna Ernst training for the World Cup, and Tommy Caldwell in Yosemite.

12th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

featuring the 2010 Reel Rock Tour, will be this Saturday, 7:30 PM, , October 9, 2010 (Columbus Day Weekend), at SUNY Lecture Center.


  • Introductions to the films by Josh Lowell, Big Up Productions

REEL ROCK Filmmaking Competition – 2 winning short films.

Origins: The Hulk – 12 minutes

Peter Croft and Lisa Rands attempt a wild free ascent on the Incredible Hulk Wall in the Sierras –    arguably America’s best (and least filmed) alpine rock wall.  Croft, the most legendary of California’s crack masters mentors the renowned boulderer Rands as she explores alpine traditional climbing terrain.

First Round First Minute – 9 Minutes

Since Chris Sharma moved to the sport climbing mecca of Catalunya, Spain, he’s opened dozens of routes that are redefining high-end climbing.  First Round First Minute gives an update on Sharma’s latest 5.15 first ascents and tells the story of his epic battle with his latest ongoing project.

Fly or Die – 12 Minutes

Dean Potter continues his extreme vertical exploration, opening new freeBASE climbs, along with highline and wingsuit jumps in some of the most mind-blowing vertical footage ever captured.

Down and Out, and Under – 17 Minutes

A once-in-a-lifetime adventure expedition for first ascents in Australia and on the wild sea cliffs of outer


The Hardest Moves – 17 Minutes

Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson compete to climb the hardest boulders ever scaled.  An inside

look at what it takes to push the difficulty envelope of this intense sport.

The Swiss Machine – 19 Minute

The greatest speed alpinist the world has ever seen – tells the stories of his record-breaking ascents in the Alps, accompanied by stunning aerial footage of him racing up 8,000 foot alpine faces.  Ueli also joins Alex Honnold in Yosemite to attempt speed records there.  His ultimate goal: take his one-man alpine speed game to the largest, highest walls in the world.

13th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 8, 2011

Images: Trunks of the Gunks; by Nora Scarlett; www.norascarlett.com


  • Introductions to the films by Josh Lowell, Big Up Productions

Opening Introductions (4 Minutes)

Reel Rock Film Making  Competition (4 Minutes) — 2 winning short films.

Ice Revolution (11 Minutes) – Canadian Will Gadd and Brit Tim Emmett dodge exploding 30 foot icicle bombs and send the hardest pure ice climb in the world at BC’s Helmcken Falls.

Cold (11 Minutes) – Over the past 26 years, 16 expeditions have tried and failed to climb one of Pakistan’s 8,000 meter peaks in winter. In February 2011, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, and Corey Richards became the first to achieve this alpine dream by sum­miting Gasherbrum II.

Project Dawn Wall (10 Minutes) – Joined by bouldering specialist Kevin Jorgeson, Tommy Caldwell  makes his first big ground-up push, pulling pitch after pitch of 5.14 first ascents on the seemingly impossible El Cap’s Dawn Wall.


Race for the Nose  (19 Minutes)— Welcome to the wildest competition known to man — the speed record on the Nose route of El Capitan. We follow Dean Potter and Sean Leary on their attempt to break this legendary record on the classic route that has been the scene of epic rivalries, brutal accidents, and remains to this day a hotly contested prize

Origins: Obe &  Ashima (22 Minutes) –  In person, Ashima Shiraishi  and Obe Carrion…Nine year old Ashima Shiraishi from New York City is taking the bouldering world by storm. Under the tutelage of her passionate coach, Obe Carrion, this tiny master is crushing competi­tions and raising the bar for climbing’s youth. Obe brings her to bouldering’s proving ground, Hueco Tanks, TX, where he had his own big breakthrough 13 years earlier, and Ashima rips the place apart.

Sketchy Andy (20 Minutes) – American climbing dirtbag Andy Lewis is taking the discipline of slacklining into the future as he solos the worlds longest high-lines and masters the hardest aerial tricks, all the while pushing his equipment to the limit.

14th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 6, 2012


The Dura Dura (27 minutes): Legendary sport climber Chris Sharma isn’t exactly passing the torch, but he’s giving nerdy 19-year-old Czech Adam Ondra a glimpse of his glory as the two team up to attempt the world’s hardest climb, a 5.15c near Sharma’s home turf in Catalunya, Spain. Meanwhile, on a rock nearby, 19-year-old American Sasha DiGiulian and Canary Islands native Dalia Ojeda are pushing the boundaries for women climbers on tougher-than-thou ascents.

The Shark’s Fin (25 minutes): Legend Conrad Anker joins forces with filmmaker/adventurers Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk in this visually stunning film that speaks to the big-mountain adventurers out there. Anker makes his second attempt at the unclimbed granite between the base of India’s Mount Meru and its 6,310-meter summit.

Wide Boys (12 minutes): British propriety meets roughneck Americana in all it’s glory–complete with big, rocky cracks that take serious technique to conquer. This zany romp of a film documents the efforts of two UK-based climbers, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, to blend into the dirty subculture of off-width climbers in the American Southwest — and to jam just about everything they’ve got into a first ascent of a 100-foot roof called Century Crack in the heart of Utah’s Canyonlands.

Honnold 3.0 (32 minutes): The title’s a riff on next-gen upgrades, the trifecta of peaks at the heart of this story; it’s also the name of one of the most audacious climbers in history, freesolo-superstar Alex Honnold. This film is meta: It looks at Honnold as he turns inward for some perspective about where to take his career — while he’s prepping for, then successfully completing, a 19-hour push up three of Yosemite’s iconic big walls.


15th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Descent, USA, 2012, Director Dale Baskin; (www.accidentalexplorer.com); Sometimes it’s just best to … well, you’ll see

Flight Time, 1985, Directed and Produced by Dominic Azoto- featuring some of the Gunks greats in their high fashion, 80s attire, including Rich Gottlieb, Al Diamond, Jim Munson, and others.


The SenseiForty-three-year-old Yuji Hirayama is one of the great legends of modern climbing. Near retirement, he plans one big swan-song mission to complete a project, one of his hardest ever, at the spectacular summit of Mount Kinabalu, on the island of Borneo. But first he must find the right partner. Enter Daniel Woods, the young American boulderer who is one of the strongest humans in the climbing world, but lacks mountain experience. Daniel-San travels to Japan to prove himself worthy of Hirayama’s mentorship, and the unlikely duo team up for the expedition of a lifetime.

Spice Girl— The UK climbing scene is known for its strict traditional ethic, yielding dangerous routes and a competitive machismo among the driven young climbers risking it all to prove their boldness. The first woman to climb the British grade of E9 (super hard, super sketchy), Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear, and big runouts. Having mastered the scrappy sea cliffs at home she teams up with Emily Harrington to tackle the massive, untamed bigwalls of Taghia Gorge, Morocco.


The Stone Masters— Sender Films is currently working on a feature documentary about the counterculture climbing scene in Yosemite over the last 50 years. Provisionally titled “Valley Uprising,” the film brings all the legends to life: from Royal Robbins’ epic battle with Warren Harding to the fabled drug plane crash of 1977 and the escalating tensions between climbers and national park rangers.

High Tension: Ueli Steck and the Clash on Everest Mount Everest made headlines around the world this year when it was reported that Ueli Steck and Simone Moro, the strongest duo in alpinism, were attacked by a crowd of angry sherpas at Camp 2 while attempting a cutting edge new route on the highest — and most crowded — mountain in the world. Fearing for their lives, the climbers fled the mountain, and the incident sparked a flurry of gasps and angry recrimination: sherpas, western climbers, guiding companies, even the legendary mountain itself were pounded with criticism from all sides. Amidst the bizarre event, REEL ROCK was embedded with the climbing team and given an exclusive look at what happened that day, and why.

16th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 11, 2014

Instead of multiple films as we have done the past 15 years, tonight we will be showing one 90 minute film t.  Valley Uprising has been in the making for the last seven years and is the first feature length documentary film in REEL ROCK Film Tour history.

The Trip, USA, 2012, Director Dale Baskin; (www.accidentalexplorer.com);

Sometimes it’s just best to … well, you’ll see

Valley Uprising

produced by Sender Films in association with Big Up Productions

Valley Uprising tells the story of the counter culture of climbing in the Yosemite Valley during the 50s and 60s and how climbing went from being an activity for those on the fringes of society to a fullblown revolution. Last year’s tour had a sneak peek of Valley Uprising, a section called The Stonemasters that featured some of the most dedicated climbers who fueled the climbing culture in Yosemite Valley. While this film takes us back in time to relive the lives of The Stonemasters, Valley Uprising also takes us to contemporary times with daredevil  climber Alex Honnold, best known for his record freesolo climbs in the historic Yosemite Valley.

17th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 10, 2015

¯ Enjoy music by Octomen¯

Intro Film:  Co-produced by Furnace Industries and Gunks Apps, this short video follows Christian Fracchia climbing solo (ropeless) on three classic rock climbs in the Gunks, NY

Frozen Titans

Canada, 2014, 24 mins.  Filmmaker: Bryan Smith; Producer: Dave Pearson.

The unique spray of ice formations at Helmchken Falls, British Columbia, are considered the hardest ice and mixed climbing spot in the world. The 140-meter cave is a terrifying complex of giant, overhung icicles and thus has become Will Gadd’s obsession and the leading edge of modern ice climbing.

Offwidth Outlaw

USA, 2013, 6 mins. Director: Celin Serbo.

Pamela Shanti Pack is one of the most accomplished off-width climbers in the world (male or female). Since 2008 she has been seeking out North America’s most challenging inverted and vertical off-width climbs.  In recent years, Pamela’s focus has shifted to establishing first ascents in this unique style of climbing. This film follows Pamela in her quest to establish new routes in the desert climbing meca of Indian Creek in southeastern Utah.


Spain, 2014, 18 mins. Director: Jon Herranz, Producer: Gerard Peris.

At age 61, Francisco Marin, also known as “Novato” (“Rookie” in Spanish), sent “Geminis” an 8b+ (5.14a) line, and nowadays Marin has “Florida” as a project, an impressive 8c (5.14b) route. Additionally, he is the father of Edu Marin, one of the best climbers in the world.

Beyond Good and Evil

France, 2013. 11 mins. Director: Bertrand Delapierre.

Right now, “Beyond good and evil” stays as one of the hardest routes in Alps.  Beyond difficulties, history about it reflects the state of mind of high-level mountaineering: strong climbers of each generation must confront it to affirm their presence

Rockin Cuba

UK, 2014, 28 mins. Director: Vladimir Cellier.

Through music and rock climbing, the movie follows the exploration of the valley of Vinales in Cuba by six French climbers.

Stone Free

UK, 2014, 27 mins.  Director: Alastair Lee.

Julian Lines is the best climber you’ve never heard of. He is undoubtedly Britain’s most accomplished free climbing soloist with world-class free ascents to his name. This deeply personal account of archetypal anti-hero is a stunning portrait that will leave your jaw on the floor.

The Skater

USA, 2014, 3 minutes, Director: Celin Serbo.

In January of 2014 Will Mayo established several of the most difficult mixed climbing routes in North America at The Fang Amphitheater near Vail, CO.

~ ~ ~

18th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival

7:30 PM w Saturday, October 8, 2016.

¯ Enjoy music by The Cat’s Murph¯


Directed by Cody Buesing & Steven DiCasa; 2016, USA, 3 minutes

Ever wanted to know what playing a drum set in a field of boulders at the foot of a cliff sounded like? Maybe not. But we did…


Directed by Fitz Cahall & Brendan Leonard; 2015, USA, 12 minutes

Frank Sanders first climbed Devils Tower in 1970 which was the beginning of his long climbing odyssey through North America. Over the past 47 years, the Tower has remained a constant through addiction and sobriety. The 63-year-old has climbed the formation more than 2,000 times.


Directed by Chris Prescott and Paul Diffley; 2015, UK, 45 minutes

UK competition and sport climber Natalie Berry makes the move into traditional and winter climbing. Acting as mentor along the way is Scottish all round climber Dave MacLeod. The film follows Natalie over the course of two years as she attempts to pursue a life in the mountains.


Directed by Chris Alstrin; 2015, USA, 5 minutes

Some records are just meant to be broken. Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter just knew that the women`s speed record for the ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California was theirs for the taking. Crushing the old record and standing atop El Capitan at 5 hours 02 minutes after their first test run and 4 hours 43 minutes after the final attempt just a few days later.


Directed by Shane Wilder; 2015, USA, 14 minutes

The Enchanting Triple documents a climbing journey through the Stuart Range, a jagged collection of peaks in the center of Washington state. A decade of dedication to these mountains laid the groundwork for this three-peak enchainment by climbers Jens Holsten and Blake Herrington.


Directed by Jon Glassberg; 2015, USA, 17 minutes

She’s been trad climbing for only three years, but Emily Harrington didn’t let that sway her from the magnetic pull of El Capitan’s ‘Golden Gate’ (5.13 VI). 6 days and 40 pitches later, she stood on the summit with broken skin, aching muscles and a smile that stretched across Yosemite Valley. Here Emily shows us that it’s just as much about the journey as it is the destination.


Directed by Claire Carter & Jen Randall; 2015, UK, 20 minutes

Operation Moffat takes inspiration and wit from the colourful climbing life of Britian’s First Female Mountain Guide, Gwen Moffat. Writer Claire Carter and Filmmaker Jen Randall scramble, swim and barefoot climb through Gwen’s most cherished British landscapes, grappling with her preference for mountains over people, adventure over security, wilderness over tick lists.

19th Annual New Paltz Climbing Film Festival – New Paltz, NY

SUNY at New Paltz
Studley Theater (Next to Old Main)
7:30 PM: Saturday, October 7, 2017
Directed by Robert SteinerSwitzerland, 2016, 26 minutes

British climber Jonathan Bamber almost lost his life during an attempt to make the first ascent of a mountain in India. 23 years later a Swiss team did climb Tupendeo and started to research the story of their forerunners.



Directed by Chris Alstrin

USA, 2017, 11 minutes

This film follows American climber Carlo Traversi through the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado as he attempts something never done before, The Triple 14.



Directed by Cameron Maier

USA, 2016 – 8 minutes

Sonnie Trotter climbs the First Free Ascent of the historic Ewbank Route on the Totem Pole in Tasmania.



Directed by Franz Walter

Germany, 2016 – 26 minutes

‘A Song for Tomorrow’ explores the Qingfeng Valley, China’s first and largest national park. It’s a place where no one has managed to climb before. Mayan Smith-Gobat, Ting Xiao, Liu Yongbang and Ben Rueck were the first to be granted permission to set foot on these vertical giants.



Directed by Craig Hall

Canada, 2016 – 7 minutes

2016 is a year of mixed emotions for Ice Climbing Champion Sarah Hueniken. In this intimate portrait Hueniken bravely shares how her love of climbing has been tested by personal tragedy.



Directed by Jochen Schmoll

Germany, 2016 – 10 minutes

A 3200m vertical climb to the 4156m summit of Jungfrau – combining three different routes, this is the ‘Jungfrau Marathon’.



Directed by Jonathan Doyle

UK, 2016 – 6 minutes

Three climbers take on the most serious and committing challenge of their lives, climbing The Candlestick. It is a 110m sea-stack next the the world famous Totem-Pole, at Cape Hauy, Tasmania.