The Reel Rock Film Tour

September 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Last night, Mark and I went to the 3rd annual Reel Rock Film Tour, as it stopped in Fort Collins for an evening. While I’ve never been one to give movie reviews on this site, I thought I would give a few impressions of this event, more as an evening with the local Northern Colorado climbing community than anything else.

We convinced Doug and Liz to come out as well, and evidently Alpinist Adam was in attendance too, though we didn’t meet up with him until afterwards. The auditorium was nearly full, with several hundred people in attendance. Even though the movies were being shown in the student center theatre at Colorado State Univ, the crowd was diverse, and we saw people of all ages in attendance.

Doug, I think, summarized most of our feelings about the movies at the end by saying “Wow, that was a lot of Dean Potter.” I felt the whole film festival could be renamed The Many Hairstyles of Dean Potter or maybe Check it out yo! Dean Potter is crazy/beautiful and Tommy Caldwell is missing a finger! Ok, that last one kind of sucks, but it sums up the general feel of the shows.

We all really liked Peter Mortimer’s new film, The Sharp End. Each of his movies seem to get bigger, better and prettier. This one had great production, and cool computer generated segments. It was full of typical Sender Films humor, drama, suspense and really big falls. In this movie, they either mic’d the climbers or had one of those Sonic Earz, because you could hear the breathing of the leaders clearly as situations got desperate. It was a wonderful effect. Listening to somebody else’s breath makes me breathe along with them, and then really draws me into the tension of the moment. Then there was always that moment, one sucked inhale, one “F—.” and we’re off!

Definitely head over and check out the big version of the trailer on their site, because the one from YouTube (shown here) is pretty grainy and hard to see.

The crowd was great. Everybody would gasp and then give a big “Oooow!” when the climber lands. I thought it was fun to hear the different people in the audience cheering for the boulderers, the crazy German trad climbers, or the insane big wall aid climbers. A large group of girls cheered each time Steph Davis graced the screen, and the crowd erupted when her line on Long’s Peak (Pervertical Sanctuary 5.10c) was drawn across the Diamond.

Probably for me, one of the highlights of the evening was the gear-give-away at “intermission.” While I didn’t win anything, the guy just to the left of Mark won a GIANT block of chalk. I’ve never seen so much chalk in my life. They called out the number, and he actually groaned.

“Oh great. I won chalk” he grumbled dismally. He didn’t get up to accept the prize, just sunk down in his chair and passed the ticket to the end of the row for the runner to check. They passed the chalk down the row to him. Mark was laughing.

“Wow, that’s a lot of chalk,” said Mark.

The guy next to him looked up hopefully and said “Do you want it, man?”

“Sorry, I don’t use chalk,” Mark replied honestly.

“Me neither.” He glanced hopelessly around for a minute and then sat back in his chair to watch the second movie. Mark and I were both quietly laughing like mad. It’s so easy to think everybody in the Fort boulders. After all, we have Rotary Park, Carter Lake, and the 420’s. But there are lots of other climbs around here, and lots of other climbers. And last night, we all celebrated the sport together.