From a recent conflict on Mount Everest to a look at the colorful history of climbing in the Yosemite Valley for the past 50 years, the eighth annual Reel Rock Film Tour will bring a variety of perspectives on rock climbing to both shores of Lake Tahoe this week.
Four films included in the tour will play in Incline Village on Thursday and South Lake Tahoe on Friday.
“Reel Rock shows are spirited events where climbers and outdoors lovers come together to celebrate and sample the ultimate in adventure filmmaking,” according to a press kit from organizers. “Prize giveaways, appearances by top climbers, and fundraising for nonprofit organizations are always part of the party at Reel Rock events.”
This year’s program includes the following:
“The Sensei” — Forty-three-year-old Yuji Hirayama is one of the great legends of modern climbing. Near retirement, he plans one big swan-song mission to complete a project, one of his hardest ever, at the spectacular summit of Mount Kinabalu, on the island of Borneo. But first he must find the right partner. Enter Daniel Woods, the young American boulderer who is one of the strongest humans in the climbing world, but lacks mountain experience. Daniel-San travels to Japan to prove himself worthy of Hirayama’s mentorship, and the unlikely duo team up for the expedition of a lifetime.
“Spice Girl” — The U.K. climbing scene is known for its strict traditional ethic, yielding dangerous routes and a competitive machismo among the driven young climbers risking it all to prove their boldness. It’s the last place you’d expect to find a nice little blond girl putting all the lads to shame, but Hazel Findlay is doing just that. The first woman to climb the British grade of E9 (super hard, super sketchy), Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear, and big runouts. Having mastered the scrappy seacliffs at home she teams up with Emily Harrington to tackle the massive, untamed bigwalls of Taghia Gorge, Morocco.
“High Tension: Ueli Steck and the Cash on Everest” — Mount Everest made headlines around the world this year when it was reported that Ueli Steck and Simone Moro, the strongest duo in alpinism, were attacked by a crowd of angry sherpas at Camp 2 while attempting a cutting edge new route on the highest — and most crowded — mountain in the world. Fearing for their lives, the climbers fled the mountain, and the incident sparked a flurry of gasps and angry recrimination: sherpas, western climbers, guiding companies, even the legendary mountain itself were pounded with criticism from all sides. Amidst the bizarre event, Reel Rock was embedded with the climbing team and given an exclusive look at what happened that day, and why.
“The Stone Masters” — Sender Films is currently working on a feature documentary about the counterculture climbing scene in Yosemite over the last 50 years. Provisionally titled “Valley Uprising,” the film brings all the legends to life: from Royal Robbins’ epic battle with Warren Harding to the fabled drug plane crash of 1977 and the escalating tensions between climbers and national park rangers. This year’s Reel Rock Film Tour will include a teaser clip from the film that focuses on the sex-drugs-n-rock era of Jim Bridwell and the Stonemasters.