UKC

Progression review

Let me just start by stating, the Lowell brothers have done it again!
In Progression from Big Up productions, we get to see what's going on at the cutting edge of the various free climbing disciplines, as it tries to answer the question: "Where is climbing headed in the future, and what does it take to get there?".

Quite unsurprisingly, it seems "learning from other disciplines", is the way forward. I'm positive Chris S would become an even better climber if he applied some of Patxi's tactics and vice versa. Tommy C has understood this already, and thus, he goes bouldering in order to be able to reach the necessary level to stand a chance to succeed on his big wall project, Mescalito on El Cap. To me it looks utterly impossible and absolutely heinous. If it goes free... damn!
Meanwhile, Paul R and Daniel W are starting to apply their bouldering power on the routes.

I think Progression makes a great job of showing the dedication of Patxi U, and the intensity of the competition scene. Maybe it makes it look even better than the real thing, but instant success or failure is the reality of this world, and the emotions are strong.
It takes a lot of mental power to be able to cope with the hard training massive pressure. In the words of Patxi: "My talent is being a masochist"
An interesting thing is the way Patxi and Chris are initially portrayed as eachother's opposites, but it later becomes clear that they're in fact very much alike. The tools they use to get their fix are slightly different, but the addiction is the same.

I would have liked to see more footage from Alex H, Kevin J and Matt S UK-tour, but I suppose there were simply too much material as it was. These guys operate in the gray area existing in the bouldering-trad-soloing realm. In my world, Kevin is way into the soloing discipline when making the FA of Ambrosia, as it stands some 14m tall. Scary as hell to watch, even though I already knew the outcome...

Of course the outcome of Chris' last attempt on Jumbo love was known too, but it didn't make it any less spectacular or impressive to watch, especially when you know about the pressure he felt at the time.

All in all, Progression is one of the best and most inspiring climbing movies ever made, even if the level these guys are on is more or less super human.
I guess it could be THE best climbing movie so far.

Progression is available as DVD ($29.95) or HD download ($19.95)



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