Climbing Walls Playlist

A selection of climbing films which have screened at ShAFF over the years.



An old timer shows us all how a way of living.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Everyone loves Frank.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

The first time Frank Sanders saw Devil’s Tower was in the sudden brilliance of a lightning strike. It sent a wave of anxiety through him, but the next day he climbed The Tower. 43 years later, he’s repeated that act more than 2,000 times and learned a thing or two about about going up and not growing old.

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I need to declare an interest - but I do like dom's films so much.

David Hanney

Amazing landscape, faces and a look into old times.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

In the early 1970s the border city of Carlisle became an unlikely epicentre for hard traditional climbing and a scene developed that rivalled any in the UK. The atmosphere was competitive, a new E-grading system was born and new milestones were set. Eden is set around a little known crag close to Carlisle called Armathwaite, it was a meeting place and training venue for the Penrith and Carlisle teams, who were looking to make their mark on the British crags. The film features Pete Whillance, Pete Botteril, Charlie Woodburn and Pete Gunn and is a tribute to a much loved character who changed the face of British climbing, Jeff Lamb.

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"How on earth did they do THAT?" + "These guys are hilarious" = enormously fun film :)

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Whisky on the wall... when climbing gets desperate.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Matt Segal and Will Stanhope have spent a decade climbing the world's hardest cracks. Crack climbing is a bold, traditionalist discipline in which climbers “jam” their hands, feet and even entire bodies into cracks, while skillfully protecting themselves from a fall by placing their own removable gear in the rock. In an age of elite athletes, fad diets and training regimes, Matt and Will harken back to the old school of climbing, where guts and spirit make up for their lack of planning and healthy lifestyle. Now they travel deep into the Canadian wilderness to the infamous Bugaboo Mountains where they are looking for the ultimate next-level crack climb – following a long, thin break in the rock so narrow that only the tips of their fingers fit inside. It’s the beginning of an epic, multi-year quest that will change their lives.

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It doesn't count as male nudity if you're covered up by a ukulele. Hilarious and dramatic sailing / climbing adventure.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

If you like big wall climbing and don't want to get too deep. This is the big Wall film for you, lots of fun form Real Rock.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Jump on board a madcap sailing adventure to the biggest rock walls in the Arctic Circle with a team of elite climbers as zany as they are talented. Sean Villanueva, Nico Favresse, Olivier Favresse and Ben Ditto have made cutting edge first ascents in remote mountain ranges around the world -- climbing hard, making music and goofing off thousands of feet in the air. Now they embark on their greatest expedition yet, voyaging to the massive walls of Greenland and Baffin Island on the good ship Dodo’s Delight, skippered by the spry 79-year old Captain Bob Shepton. Amongst rough seas, falling rocks and freezing temperatures, this hilarious and badass gang of adventurers forge bold new routes and have the time of their lives.

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The mutants are coming...

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Meet the new faces of climbing: 14-year-old Ashima Shiraishi and 15-year-old Kai Lightner are the leaders of a new generation poised to take the sport to the next level. Ashima, a New York City native, has already become the youngest person and the first female to climb the benchmark elite grades of 5.15a and v15. Kai, one of the few African American climbers rising to the top of the sport, became a national climbing champion as a high school sophomore. Now these two prodigies and friends travel to the rugged coast of Norway, where a legendary cave is filled with the most difficult climbs on earth. Pushed outside their comfort zone, Kai and Ashima learn some hard but important lessons that will carry them to even greater heights.

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The potential of climbing to bridge political divisions

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Fascinating documentary on Palestinian climbing - really interesting, really fun

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

A glimpse into the developing climbing culture in Palestine.

Anna Paxton

BMC take us east improve to ask the benefits of climbing to a different Society.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

In spring 2016, the first climbing gym was opened in Palestine 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 wall crossing point of Qalandiya to reach East Jerusalem, these are places 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 settlements can mean in order to just reach the crag. 

Ultimately, irrespective of where we live the film hopefully shows that to a lesser or greater degree the reasons why we climb are the same. Filmmaker, Ray Wood, and writer, Ed Douglas, worked together on the short film that Paul Difley put together in the edit room.

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What happens when a world-famous climber is forced to stop climbing due to a serious shoulder injury? Award-winning filmmaker Jen Randall captures pro climber Hazel Findlay’s empowering road to recovery. Fascinating reflections on identity emerge from this refreshingly honest and uplifting documentary.

Ruth Farrar

When you love your sport it’s so hard to be injured. This film follows professional climber Hazel Findlay on the road to recovery after a shoulder operation. Impressive to see her positivity and determination to emerge from the injury both physically and mentally stronger.

Anna Paxton

Mind Control is a new BMC TV film by the award-winning Jen Randall. This is a personal and revealing portrait into the demands of being a pro climber. Features unique behind-the-scenes footage and inspiring shots of one of Hazel's hardest sends: Mind Control (8c) at Oliana.

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El Cap has been climbed many times many ways, but this is the first time it’s been free climbed solo in a day. Join Pete Whittaker en route.

Anna Paxton

Rope Solo Free Climbing is a sport that few people know about and even less people do. 

We join Pete Whittaker, his long time climbing partner Tom Randall and Big wall solo climbing expert Andy Kirkpatrick as they take us through the paces of what it really means to make a solo-free ascent of El Cap. 

 “The Problem is if Pete pulled it off, nobody would even get it, nobody would understand how hard it was”… and to do it in a day, is totally insane”. - Andy Kirkpatrick 
 “The ascent made by Pete on Freerider to me is hopefully the dawn of a new style of big wall solo climbing, big wall solo climbing on El Capitan for many years was just aid climbing. Now Pete has proven that it's possible to do that free climbing, but relatively fast” - Tom Randall A BMC TV film.
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This is probably THE climbing film you want to see at this year's SHAFF. Very well made, with some top notch characters, and climbing move you have to see to believe. Recommended.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Exhilarating and empowering. Turbo-charged inspiration courtesy of climber Margo Hayes smashing boundaries in the climbing world. Go Margo!

Ruth Farrar

Nobody thought women could climb 5.15... then came Margot Hayes. This film is a celebration of her achievement, and a reminder never to accept barriers imposed by yourself or anyone else. Super inspiring!

Anna Paxton

Girl power to the max what an incredible woman. A great feel good film get the whole family inspired and Discover they are no such thing as boundaries.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

In high-end modern rock climbing, 5.15 is the top of the difficulty scale, a grade achieved by only a few men and never by a woman. Margo Hayes, a little known 19-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, is determined to change that. To be closer to the world’s hardest routes, she has moved to Europe, where she trains and climbs with the goal of succeeding on two of the most iconic 5.15s in France and Spain. But pushing her body and mind to the absolute limit, she risks injury and failure in her quest to be the first.

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Steve McClure talks us through climbing the hardest route in the UK.

Anna Paxton

Where is your limit? Would you recognise it? For Steve McClure it’s an endless series of matchstick edges and nothing holds, high above the Yorkshire Dales. 

If this climb was one move longer, it would still be a dream… instead it’s the UK’s hardest-ever climb. A BMC TV film.

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Very funny animation, most climbers will have been on both ends of this rope, know anyone who belays like this...?

Anna Paxton

This is going to have all of you laughing.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Hugo and Lipe are back on the wall to face all challenges(and some bad luck) of alpine climbing—frozen and wet rock, poor communication with each other, inner demons, selfies, and the frigid, ever-changing weather.

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A film made by a friend here and Sheffield.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

The truth behind the Tom Randall, the man who champions pain and suffering in an age when everyone else is being kind to themselves.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Tom Randall is a modern day institution in the world of British climbing. Well known for his acquired taste for offwidth crack routes, Tom consistently sets himself the highest standards and the hardest lines. For Tom, climbing is all consuming, but this hasn't always been the case. In ‘Obsession’ Tom provides a unique insight into his formative years spent in a world entirely different to the one we associate him with now, and how he copes with conflicting priorities that are fundamental to his continued happiness and ambitious drive.

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The Ken Wilson story, one of the legends of British climbing who remained between the lines, almost....

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Hard Rock is a tribute to writer and publisher Ken Wilson (1941-2016). At the heart of the film is an interview recorded with Ken as he was beginning to suffer the effects of dementia. He reflects on his life, his work and the changes he has seen in the climbing world. One of Ken's most famous books, the classic anthology of climbing essays, Hard Rock, is used as a prism to examine his philosophy. World class climbers Steve McClure, Calum Muskett and Michaela Tracy each pay tribute by climbing a classic route from the book. Ken laments a golden age of adventure and the film marks the passing of the climbing world's most prolific publisher.

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I really, really enjoyed this. Listen carefully, theres so much reasonable climbing wisdom here.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Local production company make a beautiful bolder film. For 6 minutes we are thrown into the world of a boulder and his mates at the top of there game.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

A calm and beautiful film piecing together overheard conversations of boulders on a snowy trip.

Anna Paxton

Following his documented 4th ever ascent of the 8B+ boulder problem 'Voyager Sit Start' in the Peak District, Moon Climbing athlete David Fitzgerald set his sights on Europe. Follow the journey as David takes on some of Europe's hardest boulders and explore the reasons why bouldering means so much to so many people.

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Watch this. Right now.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

A heartwarming film which shows the real difference that climbing made to Clare on her journey to rebuild her strength and confidence after her stroke. What lovely friends and family Clare has, so much admiration for them and her.

Anna Paxton

A beautiful story form the fantastic people of across Sheffield, generations and Human kind. Beautiful Clare 💪

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Shot here in Sheffield, Reach is a film that takes us from the wards of the Children's Hospital, right out into the heart of the Peak District. Filmed over four-years, It tells the story of a local climber called Clare who suffered a life altering stroke at thirteen which left her unable to move anything but her left eye.

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Fantastically well made and much needed film on black climbers in Brooklyn. Anyone who’s been to bouldering wall will understand and identify with this movie. Awesome, you must see this.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

How can you be what you can’t see? Mikhail Martin, co-founder of Brothers of Climbing said, “I literally typed, ‘Are there black climbers?’ in Google … someone said, ‘black people don’t climb.'” A small group of climbers began to challenge that thought. The Brothers of Climbing is a crew that's making the climbing community more welcoming. Watch to see how they created a community where one wasn’t.

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How about attempting all your hight land life gools in one day oh bad there is only one day in 10years to do it.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Climber Dave MacLeod sets himself a challenge that shows off the beauty and diversity of The Scottish highlands.

Anna Paxton

Established by Dave MacLeod on the 19th March 2018, the '24/8' might be one of the hardest all-round climbing challenges around; an 8A boulder, 8a sport route, E8 trad route, VIII,8 winter route and 8 Munros, all in under 24 hours. The challenge took place in and around Glen Nevis, on Ben Nevis and on surrounding mountains. Starting at first light, Dave climbed the font 8A+ boulder problem followed by the E8 trad route (Misadventure). Walking in through Steall Gorge, Dave climbed Leopld (F8a) at Steall Hut Crag before heading off up the flank of Ben Nevis to drop into Tower Gully and climb Frosty's Vigil (VIII,8). Arriving back on the summit of the country's highest mountain at sunset, he then headed into the night over eight Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet) to complete the challenge, and succeed in one of the most difficult and diverse climbing link-ups ever done. The film follows Dave throughout the challenge; a camera and production crew of one, Kevin Woods, who also assists in route-finding on the mountains and for whom the film is both about the climber but also the magnificence of the Scottish mountains.

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A touching and rather cute documentary about the best climber in the world, and he certainly makes enough noise to the number one. The uninitiated will primarily be in awe at the terrible haircuts on show. The adventure sports prowess portrayed is of course highly impressive, even if the participants don't know how to use a mirror.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

Gain fascinating behind-the-scenes access to the processes and mindset of a true climbing pioneer pushing climbing to the next level.

Ruth Farrar

If you’re going to the best in the world you’ve got to be a bit different from everyone else. Adam Ondra is both brilliant and unique, you’ll find yourself rooting for him despite or maybe because of his weird training techniques as he attempts some of the hardest sport climbs around the world. Another fantastic Reel Rock film, don’t miss it!

Anna Paxton

What to become the world's best climber? Here is the Step by step guide in how achieve it and make everyone in the room extremely awkward.

Ed Birch Director of Salt-Street productions

Every so often an athlete comes along who redefines their sport. Adam Ondra, the 25-year-old Czech crusher, is exploring a new realm of human potential in climbing. Late last year, he established a benchmark for the sport; a 5.15d in Norway he dubbed Silence (as in, drop the mic). On the heels of this ascent, we follow Adam from his home in the Czech Republic, across Europe to North America, as he innovates new training methods, establishes upper echelon first ascents, and attempts to be the first person to send 5.15 on the first try. Age of Ondra is a rare, intimate journey with one of the greatest athletes at the peak of his powers.

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One of Reel Rocks total nail-on-the-head-hits

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

So climbing is in the Olympics, Bouldering, Lead, and ...Speed... This entertaining film explores what it’s all about and how the pros are adapting to a discipline that a lot of climbers would rather forget.

Anna Paxton

When climbing was announced as part of the 2020 Olympics, it was a monumental occasion for the sport. But many climbers were shocked to learn that one of three combined events required to compete for a medal is… speed climbing. REEL ROCK correspondent Zachary Barr looks into this little-known and seldom practiced sub-discipline of the sport, and the role it will play in shaping climbing’s future. Barr’s journey from the U.S. to France (the birthplace of modern speed climbing) to South Asia (it’s actually huge there) culminates at an international competition in Moscow, where speed demons race up a 15-meter wall in less than six seconds.

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Super inspiring film, a window into a different set of lives.

Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, 'Creative Consultant'.

Women are Mountains is a short documentary film that portrays the lives of climbers Mônica Filipini and Danielle Pinto in the quiet city of São Bento do Sapucai, in the countryside of São Paulo, Brazil. At the same time as they are responsible for their children and domestic affairs, they are able to enjoy their great passion: the mountains. With lyricism, this documentary showcases Brazilian feminine multi-pitch climbing scenery (a traditionally masculine sport in Brazil) and investigates the motivations of the two climbers practicing the sport.

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