Saturday, August 9, 2008 by Rebecca

Mission Cliffs

We were a bit late arriving for our climbing date with Katherine & Blake due to terrible traffic heading into the city, and we had tickets for a 7pm showing of 'To the Limit' about the German brothers who held the world speed record for climbing the nose of El Capitan for about a year before it was recently broken. (more about that later) so we only had time for a few climbs.

I got 3 climbs done, 2 5.9's and a 5.10a. None of them entirely clean, but all of them mostly clean. We brought the camera with us to try to tape some climbs, but the batteries were dead :-(

The first 5.9 was in the 'cave' but there wasn't any significant overhang or anything. It was fairly straight forward, but I had one take about 2/3 of the way up just because my arms got tired. I wasn't very good about keeping a mantra of 'hips-over-feet' running in my head.

The second 5.9 was the one that I had nearly done clean last time right near the stairs, and it was great right up until the last move where i had to rely on my right foot and leg to get me up to the last hold, and it just didn't have enough juice to get me there.

The last climb was the one I am most proud of - it was a 10.a that started with an overhang, goes up an exterior corner for a ways, and then had some fun slab climbing at the end with a big step up over a little overhang as the last move. This climb had a little of everything. I definitely did not do it clean. It took a couple tries to make it over the overhang at the beginning, but I did it 100% legitimately - no ratcheting, and no cheating by using holds from other climbs or anything. Slab climbing in the gym is a little different than slab climbing out on real rocks, but it's still fun. I had two more takes near the top in tricky locations, but I made it to the top. I'd really look forward to doing that climb again.

So after climbing we went to see 'To the Limit' - as I said above. The cinematography of the two brothers climbing is basically jaw-droppingly amazing. The camera work really puts you right up close to the brothers as they climb, and they just have some gorgeous footage.

HOWEVER, the movie had several shortcomings - there was very little explanation of how they were doing what they were doing - no explanation of routes or gear or technique or strategy. The movie was pretty focused on the relationship of the brothers and it was almost as if the climbing was incidental to that.

The BIGGEST problem however, was that it gave some pretty significant screen time to a couple other climbers who just spouted on about ... I dunno - why climbers climb, and how you have to experience risks in order to LIVE and ...ugh. It was a lot like that conversation you might have if you were high and expounding upon the profoundness of the world, only less interesting since we were sober.

Ultimately, if you want to see some beautiful footage of the gorgeous Yosemite valley, and two top notch climbers zooming their way up El Cap, and/or an exploration of the ups and downs of two competitive climbers who happen to be brothers, I would recommend renting this film - and just fast forwarding through any footage that the brother are not personally in. *Note this movie is mostly in German with English subtitles.

No comments:

Post a Comment