The Alpinist – film review

Simon Madden looks at the newest of the Big Climbing Films Warning: this article contains big time spoilers, if you don’t want to know what happens in the film The Alpinist then do not read it. ‘I don’t want to sound grim or fatalistic’, Marc-André Leclerc is standing in a hostel kitchen in El Chalten, Argentinian Patagonia, ‘but it is undeniable that every time you go to the mountains, it could be your last time.’ He is answering the question…

Is the Killer Pillar killer or filler? A film review

I Gonzo on the Paradox of Popularity and is Fun Just for Losers? A review of the film Gripped: Climbing the Killer Pillar. Choose life. Choose to quit your job. Choose a panting romance at 1200 feet, choose expressive homogeneity, choose Extreme, choose a Patagonia puffer, choose putting on make up in your tent in the morning, choose a fetishised water-bottle, some scroggin and tattoos. Remember that time you told your mate that this crag was secret?  Yeah man, screw…

The Dawn Wall – Film Review

Angus Taylor reviews The Dawn Wall, which is currently showing around Australia. At first light, the Dawn wall is illuminated on the towering ship stern of sheer granite that is El Cap, and it holds all who see it in awe. The Dawn Wall film, in a similar way, shines with the brilliant light of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s burning desire to climb it. The result is much the same – awe. In what some called ‘the moon landing of climbing’,…

Review – Project Mina & The Last Great Climb (films)

I generally always enjoy British climbing films, and Project Mina and The Last Great Climb are two (relatively) new ones out of old Blighty, directed by Jen Randall and Alastair Lee respectively. Shared nationality aside, that’s all the films have in common, for the two stories concentrate on vastly different subjects within the climbing genre. Project Mina is a beautifully shot profile of British boulderer Mina Leslie-Wujastyk. Mina’s a very talented climber, who’s climbed numerous V12s around the world as well…

Review – The Network (film)

Firstly, who doesn’t want to see Taipan – majestically bathed in golden light – and hero-to-climbers Kilian Fischhubber latching a double dyno on his not-so-wonderfully named Southern Delight (34/8c+) extension of the wonderfully-named The Invisible Fist of Professor Hiddich Smiddich? The footage is outstanding, it sits as a fitting climax to the film and generates a soaring mix of elation, desire and jingoistic pride. The jingoistic pride is the strangest to fathom; a rock being climbed by an Austrian filmed by an American,…

Review: Life on Hold

Life on Hold (film) By Nick Brown and Richard Sharpe (Outcrop Films, 2012,, HD download £10, HD download and DVD package £23.99) The best climbing films get you so psyched you can’t wait to pull down; even if it is just a fingerboard session on a dirty, grey Melbourne afternoon. The new bouldering flick, Life on Hold, is just such a film. Although to call it a bouldering film is not strictly accurate as a lot of the climbing…

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