I was lucky enough to hit the Reel Rock Film Tour — an annual showcase of the best new films about climbing — when it passed through San Francisco this weekend. Highlights of the festival include the world premiere of Progression and a preview of First Ascent, a new series for the Nat Geo Adventure Channel.
Climber or not, the Reel Rock festival is a must see for adrenaline junkies, outdoor enthusiasts, film lovers, and those seeking some kick ass motivation. Beautifully shot in locations around the world like Patagonia and Yosemite, the films follow the emotional and physical journeys of the sports' top athletes as they push themselves to the extreme. There were definitely more than a few heart stopping moments where I stared at the screen mouth gaping in disbelief of what I was watching.
To see clips from the films,
One of the crazier stories chronicles Alex Honnold's free solo (meaning no ropes or gear) of Half Dome in Yosemite. Honnold climbed about 2200 feet alone and unprotected in just a matter of hours. I'm sure many will view Honnold's feat as being just plain careless but watching his story was an incredible look at the intense mental aspect of the sport and just how far these athletes will take themselves in the name of progression.
Reel Rock is just underway and chances are it's coming to a city near you — don't miss it! The films highlight some of the strongest athletes you'll ever see and brings to light a relatively unknown sport in an accessible way. Check out the preview below.
Photo courtesy of Reel Rock