Dosage 4 by Big Up Productions£19.95, added Dec/2006
Reviewed by Mike Binks
The Dosage Series of climbing films by Josh Lowell's Big Up Productions (website) have generated a good reputation. They are well filmed with quality music, containing plenty of climbing variety and an insight into the lives of some of the world's better climbers. Dosage 4 is no exception featuring five short films showcasing major achievements in the world of trad climbing, big wall, sport climbing and bouldering.
Here's a brief overview of what you get.
An outstanding looking line in Squamish, Canada. The meat of it following a crazy ramp line into thin cracks with a heartbreaking finale. Chris Sharma had to make a return visit for this one, and looking at the route I'm not surprised.
For those that have seen Dosage 3 did you want to see which of Dave Graham's projects he was successful on? Look no further. This dose focusses mostly on bouldering in Ticino in Switzerland with the added bonus of Dave Grahams' route Coup de Grace. The attitude here is of having fun and finding new problems. These guys seem pretty chilled but can really turn it on to find themselves on top of some very good looking and tricky boulder problems.
Visiting American Lisa Rands gives her view of why she wanted to climb Gaia even after seeing the start of Hard Grit! The film follows her journey obtaining the headpoint mentality required for hard grit routes. She comes away unscathed with the first female ascent of Johnny Dawes's masterpiece.
Hueco 06 Classic Cranking in Hueco Tanks, Texas with Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Matt Wilder and others, including a brief appearance of Ben Moon. Plenty of V double figure problems including some very quick sends.
Two in a day - El Cap
What? 6,000 feet of climbing in a day! Obviously doing one route free on El Cap in Yosemite isn't enough of a challenge these days. Tommy Caldwell makes big wall history, as he is filmed free climbing The Nose on El Cap then after a quick sandwich he runs off so he can climb Freerider. Very impressive.
Where would a DVD be without its extras? There are extra problems that didn't make it into the main feature plus there are some pretty funny outtakes.
I have started to amass quite a climbing DVD collection, after watching the previous three Dosage DVDs I was looking forward to volume 4. It did not disappoint.
Overall I thought that Dosage 4 was excellent. As a boulderer I really enjoyed the mix of bouldering from the well-known area of Hueco to the new area in Switzerland. I also enjoyed the routes that were shown and I was amazed at the effort Tommy Caldwell put in on his two ascents of El Cap in a day.
Although the DVD is features predominantly American climbers, which might not be everyone's cup of tea I liked it as I want to know about people pushing the boundaries of our sport. As usual in the Dosage films Dave Graham and Chris Sharma are featured. I had not heard too much of Tommy Caldwell before apart from little bits here and there from the Web, but it is now a name that I will recognize in the future.
It was a shame that only Gaia is featured in the grit section, it would have been nice to see some more. Probably something to do with the British weather! When the weather is at its wettest I will bear this DVD in mind and watch it to help my motivation to train inside, and it might help me pick a holiday destination.
I would give Volume 4 Dosage an appropriate 4 out of 5 chalky digits.
Producer: BigUP Productions, (website)
Director: Josh Lowell
Length: 45 minutes
Watch a clip of Tommy Caldwell on The Great Roof Pitch of the Free Nose here.
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, traditional climbing, and bouldering as they make historic ascents at spectacular locations around the world. Highlights include: Tommy Caldwell's marathon El Capitan linkup, freeclimbing 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 on 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.
Available in the UK both on and off-line climbing shops. £19.95