We climbers are all video freaks, at least 100% of the ones I know. I figured I´d share my selection of the ones I feel are the most impressive videos of the most awesome climbers and bad ass routes. They´re in no particular order.
MARK TWIGHT´S BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, BY MILLET
I am a die hard Mark Twight fan. His climbing ethics, his boldness and even his arrogance are unparalleled to this day, even though his followers have come close. Although alpine climbing has evolved a lot, there´s still not many people on that level these days. It is somewhat unfortunate that in his days we did not have all this technology to film things and for us mere mortals to be able to watch him in action, but then maybe that´s why he´s such a great adventure writer. Here we can at least get some of his comments on one of the most inspiring first ascents of his career.
DESERT ICE, BY 3 STRINGS PRODUCTIONS FOR ARC´TERYX
Great editing, nice storytelling, top notch athletes, fantastic routes and freaking amazing images. The kind of video that makes you want to turn off your computer and climb. It shows step by step the journey of a day of ice climbing, which helps to make you relate and wanting to jump in the video. I love videos that show the not so glamourous part of climbing in opposition to turning the main character into celebrities, and this one is spot on in it. Quite good soundtrack as well.
PATAGONIA DREAMING, BY ARC´TERYX AND ALIAS CINEMA
I am not a Patagonia freak. I don´t have the level to climb in the Torre or Fitz Roy massif and probably never will. Well, maybe as second. In any case, it´s that kind of special thing you don´t allow yourself to dream of because it is too out of your reach. This is probably the video I watched the most time in 2014 (aside from last year´s Move and 35). And it actually made me want to climb in Patagonia. I watched this video many times before leaving for the hard climbs I did in the Blanca this year, to put me in the right mood and help me focus, especially inspired but some of the most talented young alpinists in the world right now – canadians Jason Kruk and Marc-Andre Leclerc. What is that climbing at 5:24? Sick! Better yet that it closes with “right now the most important thing is climbing in the mountains” which is something many of us can relate to. Now just right now but always…
PLACE OF HAPPINESS, BY ADIDAS
Mayan Smith Gobat is one of my favorite female rock climbers out there. Strong in rock and big wall, she´s the opposite of the girly fragile sport princess that is everything but inspiring for an alpinist. And she´s always climbing some very interesting routes such as Punks in the Gym in Australia and Tasmania. Somehow I wasn´t surprised when she went out to climb what to me is one of the prettiest and most interesting routes in Brazil (and totally out of my league). Added bonus for the editing that managed to mingle the laid back atmosphere of inland Brazil into the climbing attempts.
OFF WIDTH OUTLAW, BY CELIN SERBO
Pamela Shanti Pack, does she really need an introduction these days? It is almost bizarre what these off width climbers have been doing these days but it seems to be getting a good following. I haven´t tried it much because of lack of routes like that in Brazil, but in Peru I actually managed to play around a little and absolutely loved it. It´s like all the suffering of alpinism is translated into rock. And this video shows that well, and Pamela is unquestionably the queen of tough climbing, as well as being unpretentious about it.
JIRISHANCA, BY HANS HORNBERGER
Last but not least, I could not keep Peru out of this list. Yes I am biased, yes it´s my favorite range, and yes it is undeniable they are the most aesthetically beautiful and some of the most challenging on Earth, especially the ones in Huayhuash. I don´t usually like german videos as they tend to have horrible and overtly dramatic soundtracks and storylines, but this video show like very few the proportion and overwhelming difficulties of climbing the hardest objectives of Peru in the Huayhuash and Blanca ranges. The rewards are well documented when the climbers reach the upper part of the route. Although the climb took place in 2012, the video wasn´t released until late 2014. Michi Wohlleben is another young kid with uber talent crushing some hard routes around the world, and worth keeping an eye on.
Kinda makes you wanna climb hard don´t they?