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Lockdown - Free Sport Climbing films to get you through isolation

We've trawled the web once again and come up with a list of free and inspiring sport climbing films to get your hands sweating during lockdown. Tell us some of your favourites below and we'll add to the list if they're worthy!

Chris Sharma climbs Realization (9a+)

In July, 2001, Chris Sharma made the first ascent of Realization (AKA Biographie), the world's first confirmed 5.15 (9a+), in Ceuse, France. This short film shows the process he went through trying the route for many weeks over several trips, and the actual footage of the historic first ascent. An all time classic sport climbing film.


What does it take to climb the world's first 9c? The film follows Adam preparing to take on his project in the spectacular Hanshelleren Cave in Norway. The route, later named Silence, received a new grade of 9c and became the hardest route in the world.

Statement of Youth

The 1980's saw climbing standards rise exponentially. At the start of the decade, 7b+ was cutting edge, but by the end of the '80s, 9a was the new world standard. By the end of the decade, the sport had changed beyond recognition and a paradigm was set for future generations.

A small group of climbers would do anything to climb full-time: sleeping in sheds underneath crags, shoplifting for food and clothes, and living off the dole. These climbers were living outside the rest of society and went on to become the most influential figures in the history of British climbing.

Ben Cossey climbs Groove Train (8c) on Taipan Wall

One of my favourite sport climbing clips, personally. The last minute of this film is arguably some of the best climbing recorded.

Matilda Söderlund climbing The Elder Statesman 9a

In October 2019, Swedish sport climber Matilda Söderlund achieved her long-term goal of climbing 9a with an exceptionally fast redpoint of The Elder Statesman 9a in Frankenjura, Germany. After just one week of work, she clipped the chains and barely seemed out of breath. Matilda's response to her achievement was one of disbelief, despite making the route look far too easy.

Origins - Joshua Tree

The First "Origins" episode features two climbing stars: Kurt Smith, who put up some incredible routes in Joshua Tree in 1988, and Chris Lindner, who was sending 5.12 routes when he was 5 years old. In this "Origins" episode, Chris sets out to climb Kurt's slab test-piece on The Dunce Cap, unrepeated for 22 years, right in the heart of J-Tree climbing.

La Dura Dura – Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma complete their two year project

Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra spent two years working together to climb La Dura Dura (5.15c / 9b+), the world's hardest climb. This film tells the story of their unique collaboration and shows Adam's historic first ascent and Chris' second ascent.

Climbing the Classics: Action Directe, 9a

Another from Mammut's excellent 'Reclimbing the Classics' series. In this short, Jan Hojer revisits Action Directe.

Reach: a teenage climber defines her own limits

A heart-wrenching feature about a teenage climber called Clare. When she was 13, Clare suffered a life-altering stroke which left her unable to move anything but her left eye. The first word that she spelt out with her eye was walk. She was soon determined to go climbing.

Beyond the Wall: climbing in the West Bank

In spring 2016 Palestine's first climbing wall was opened as part of the Wadi Climbing project, to help develop the Palestinian climbing community. Based in the West Bank city of Ramallah and close to the nearby 'barrier' crossing point of Qalandiya to reach East Jerusalem, these places are better known as flashpoints for Israeli/Palestinian tensions.

Primarily through the eyes of West Bank residents, Anas Askar and his brother Urwah, the film takes a look at being a climber in Palestine and the problems that impromptu roadblocks and illegal Israeli settlements can mean in order to just reach the crag. Ultimately, irrespective of where we live the film shows that the reasons why we climb are similar but under some circumstances, the act of going climbing serves an even greater importance.

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk climbs Godzilla, 8b, Waterval Boven, South Africa

Mina battles the fearsome Godzilla (32/8b) in Waterval Boven, South Africa.

Katy Whittaker climbing Snapdragon (29), Waterval Boven, South Africa

Katy heads to Waterval Boven in South Africa to try the mighty Snapdragon (29 or 7c+).

Rotpunkt – Alex Megos Documentary

A feature-length documentary about the sport climbing superstar, Alex Megos. The film looks at where the limits of sport climbing are currently, opening with Alex musing that Sharma's Jumbo Love (9b) should be flashable if you're strong enough. The film intertwines contemporary footage of Alex attempting the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo, with archive explaining the birth of redpointing in Germany during the early 80s. A fantastic insight into one of the sport's top talents.

Steve McClure and Neil Mawson in Verdon Gorge

Take Steve McClure (Britain's top sport climber) and Neil Mawson (E10-conquering dark horse). Throw them into the dizzying Verdon Gorge then stir well with the film-making skills of Rich Heap and Ben Pritchard. Attempting a spectacular multi-pitch route, the duo find themselves way off route and have to dig deep to find success.

Michaela Kiersch and The Golden Ticket 8c+

A short showing the first female ascent of one of the most iconic and difficult routes in The Red River Gorge, Kentucky: The Golden Ticket (8c+). The film delves into Michaela's motivation and her inspiring time management…

Steve McClure climbs Hubble

Steve tackles the route he never thought he'd be able to climb and talks about what Hubble means to him.

Fresh Meat - North Wales Sport Climbing

The story of two years of new route development on North Wales limestone from Chris Doyle.

Seb Bouin - La Rage D'Adam 9b/+

Last year, Seb Bouin made the first ascent of La Rage d'Adam (9b/+) at the Ramirole crag in the Verdon Gorge. He had been attempting the route sporadically since 2015 and made it one of his main objectives for 2019.

The route is particularly cruxy with a short 8c section followed by a hard boulder problem on small pinches and underclings through an overhang. The video below does a particularly good job of showing the difficulty of a 9b/+ route with some spectacular footage:

Chris Sharma on Dreamcatcher (9a)

One of the most aesthetic sport climbs in the world, Dreamcatcher is a short 20m route that features everything from slab climbing, to overhanding dynos and small pockets. Chris Sharma on the first ascent of Dreamcatcher, 5.14d/9a

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8 Apr

The Groove Train vid is so good. Never fails to get me psyched.

8 Apr

Absolutely love it. Commentary is great, as is watching him almost fall off every move. I find myself willing him to hold on and end up shouting at the screen at the very end.

Do you have any climbing films of people climbing soft grades badly ? I’d find that very entertaining. Thanks for recommendations though.

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