Since the birth of humanity, man has longed for adventure and discovery. This can take many forms, but there’s a certain type of person whose eye are always looking upwards. Mountains have inspired people for centuries and their conquest, film-makers. Traditionally, it has been the huge peaks which have claimed the limelight, however there are a new set of devotees who search for something more tangible. In Valley Uprising directors Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen and Josh Lowell’s focus on the love affair between climbers and granite of Yosemite.
In the 1950s a group of outsiders were attracted by the beacon of Yosemite National Park, fuelled by the beat poets. They were the pioneers who first tackled the peaks. The Golden Age saw the clash between Royal Robbins’ calculated pure style and the outlandish devil-may-care Warren Harding . Then came the Stone Masters, who took the daredevil party lifestyle to the next level, along with their love of free climbing. They were then followed by a new breed, The Stone Monkeys, whose only dedication was to push the bar to increasingly new heights.
Valley Uprising plots the fascinating evolution of rock climbing through interviews, archive footage and brilliant use of animation to bring old photos to life. There’s such a profoundly deep bond between the climbers and the granite. It’s a great story, well told. The way climbing has evolved towards free climbing, and the dedication, skill and fearlessness of modern climbers is awe inspiring. Valley Uprising is a brilliant documentary, with a great soundtrack, which will pleases acolytes and novices alike.
Valley Uprising screens at ShAFF 2015 on March 21 as part of the Climb Films 3 session.