Something happened to me over the weekend that hasn’t happened in some time: I was blown away watching a climbing movie. There have been a lot of well done climbing movies put out in recent years, and while I do enjoy most of them, I don’t find that they grab me in the same way some of old Dosage movies did for instance. I usually just chalk it up to nostalgia, but after seeing this movie I have a better idea of what it is I’ve been missing.
The movie I’m referring to is the short film La Dura Complete that comes packaged with this year’s Reel Rock 8 release. La Dura Complete finishes the story of Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra’s efforts to free La Dura Dura (5.15c), a story which was first chronicled in 2012’s Reel Rock 7. I don’t think I’m spoiling it for any of you by saying that the movie ends with them both sending, but seeing the process come to completion is something to behold.
In a time when most climbing movies have a lot of cuts or the “send” you are seeing was reclimbed for the camera, seeing complete footage of both Ondra’s FA and Sharma’s repeat really give you an unparalleled look at two of the sport’s best climbers working right at their respective limits. For Ondra, watching him send reminded me of the “agent of Satan” line from Dosage 11 as he moved up the wall like a man possessed2, even for him which is saying a lot. It was a throwback to Dosage 1 with Sharma as well, as seeing the range of emotions that go along with pushing oneself to the limit and then succeeding was very reminiscent of his FA of Realization.
In the end, it was this evocation of memories of Dosage 1 that helped me realize what I have been missing in movies. It’s not often that one gets the opportunity to witness the best athletes in our sport pushing themselves in this way, in a way that really draws you in as a viewer. There are, of course, innumerable videos made of hard sends, but very few actually tap into this emotion for me like La Dura Complete did, and I suspect the same will be true for others as well.
La Dura Complete comes as a bonus film with this year’s Reel Rock DVD or digital download which you can find out more about here.