9 Rock Climbing Films You Can't Miss (and books!)

9 Rock Climbing Films You Can't Miss (and books!)

Stuck inside on a rainy day? Need some extra climbing motivation?

Grab your favorite crag snacks along with a good climbing film or book to get that inspiration flowing!

In one of our recent Climber Questions, we asked the Dynamite Starfish community to recommend the best rock climbing movies and books. 

Scroll on to see what they had to say!

Operation Moffat

Operation Moffat is one of those rock climbing films that's easy to slide under the radar if you don't follow climbing media very closely...but it's an absolute must-see!

Operation Moffat follows writer Claire Carter and filmmaker Jen Randall as they trace their way through the old stomping grounds of Britain's first female mountain guide, Gwen Moffat.

The film features breathtaking scenery from the British countryside and candid interview clips with Gwen who is now well into her 90's. Moffat embodies the definition of a Keep Climbing attitude and the excitement for discovering the surprise around the next bend.

Watch and you'll understand why Operation Moffat won the award for Best Climbing Film at the Kendal Mountain Festival.

 

Recommended by @ross.munro.581 

The Sharp End

The Sharp End is an award-winning climbing film and throwback to the 2008 Reel Rock Tour! 

Sender Films brings nail-biting adventure scenes to the big screen as it follows professional climbers like Alex Honnold, Dean Potter, Steph Davis, Lisa Rands, Chris McNamara, Ammon McNeely, Renan Ozturk, and Cedar Wright as they push the cutting edge. 

Free soloing, highball bouldering, hard trad climbing, extreme big-wall, wingsuit BASE jumping, high lining...if you can imagine it, they've filmed it!

The Sharp End is available for purchase on the Reel Rock Website or as a 48-hour rental from Sender Films on Vimeo.  

Recommended by @georgebieker

High Infatuation: A Climber's Guide to Love and Gravity

Steph Davis is a high-profile professional climber whose sponsors over the years have included Patagonia, Mammut, Clif Bar, and Five Ten. In this autobiography, she recounts her personal stories of climbing, love, life, and relationships.

Steph exemplifies what it means to take risks and trust your heart regardless of what society says. In her own words, 

I got a Master’s degree in literature, made it through one week of law school, and then I moved into my grandma’s hand-me-down Oldsmobile, waitressing in Moab to save money for expeditions and climbing trips. Climbing is as much a part of me as eating or walking.

You can find her book High Infatuation on Amazon or on her website.

Recommended by @hanna_helina

Resistance Climbing

Fans of the Reel Rock climbing films might have caught wind of this story, but it's just too good not to mention!

Resistance Climbing follows a diverse group of climbers through the war-torn hills of Palestine. Through diversity and hardship, these climbers set out on a quest for what seems all too familiar — proud lines, comfort, and community.

Watch a snippet of Resistance Climbing below or find the full film from Reel Rock 17 here

  

Recommended by @artistthateats

Cliffhanger

Does your definition of type 2 fun include watching over-the-top special effects as a bunch of crooks fight over a briefcase full of cash in the Rocky Mountains?

Sylvester Stallone has you covered with his early-90's blockbuster action film Cliffhanger. This story follows a mountain climber as he battles against memories of a failed rescue while he tries to stop the bad guys from reaching the wreckage of a downed U.S. Treasury airplane. 

Corny dialogues aside, Cliffhanger is some quality entertainment especially if you and your climbing partners are into trying to spot all of the improbable rock climbing feats.

 
Recommended by @ashlyh
 

The Real Thing

Cue the 90's techno and gritty training clips from the UK's infamous School Room in what is dubbed as the first full-length bouldering film. This British rock climbing movie (1996) follows young Ben Moon and Jerry Moffat on their escapades through the Peak District and France's Fontainebleau.

Can't get enough of that pumpy music? The full soundtrack from The Real Thing | The Original Bouldering Movie is available on Spotify. 

Recommended by @alexandertighe 

Vertical Limit

"We've got amateurs at 12 o'clock. Check your safety!"

Said no rock climber ever...unless you're eerily foreshadowing a freak accident leaving you no choice but to cut your climbing partner loose as your group dangles off the cliff with only a single passive aggressive tri-cam.

If Cliffhanger wasn't enough to satisfy your thirst for cheesy Hollywood climbing films, Vertical Limit will definitely do the trick!

This thriller survival film follows siblings Peter and Annie as they attempt to reach the summit of the infamous K2 — the second-highest mountain on Earth — and avoid the deathly grips of an avalanche.

Recommended by @starkincorporated

Valley Uprising

The North Face and Clif Bar team up with Sender Films to create what Red Bull would boldly claim to be "the best climbing film ever made". 

This feature-length document portrays the Yosemite rock climbing revolution like you've never seen it before. Three generations of the valley's greatest climbers describe pioneering first ascents, harrowing feats of athleticism, and gritty details of the dirtbag lifestyle.

Valley Uprising is one of those climbing films based on a true story that you can watch again and again. You can find it on the Reel Rock website and several streaming platforms like Amazon Prime.

Recommended by @agfokkit

The Rock Warrior's Way

If you've been a Dynamite Starfish fan for a while, you might recognize Arno Ilgner from our Climber Story series. Arno is the founder of The Warrior's Way® mental training method and the author of The Rock Warrior's Way.

The Rock Warrior's Way teaches readers how to approach the mental aspect of climbing and build a toolbox of skills that can be called upon when faced with a difficult climb. His book includes step-by-step guidance on motivation analysis, information gathering, risk assessment, mental focus, and deliberate transition into action.

This is a must-read piece of climbing literature for anyone struggling to get out of their head while on the wall. Find The Rock Warrior's Way on Amazon or Arno's website

 

Recommended by @catsejant_46


How about you? What's your vote for the best rock climbing films in 2024? Do you have recommendations for books about rock climbing?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!

Psst…Our tees are a great conversation starter!

With so many styles, we know you’ll be the climber having the most fun at the crag.
 

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Alex Tighe
Alex Tighe

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