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10 Best Climbing Movies Out There Right Now

There are some epic climbing movies available online. We've selected 10 of the best out there on streaming platforms at the moment

Do you get excited watching a no-handed knee-bar rest? Does 400 metres of exposure make your palms sweaty in excitement? Or maybe you’re tired of setting up the hundredth “look at me, I’m climbing on my kitchen worktop again” type shot.

If your answer was a resounding “yes!” to any of the above statements, then we can guarantee that you’re going to love the below list of climbing movies available online. Even if you’re not the biggest rock monkey out there, many of these climbing movies are laced with fantastic plot lines that dive deep behind the characters, known for some of the most captivating climbing and mountaineering stories out there.

Related: Best Outdoor And Adventure Documentaries on Youtube 

The majority of these climbing movies are free to view for those with a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription, others require payment to watch (but we promise they’ll be more than worthwhile). Although we’re not able to climb right now, we hope that this list will give you the psyche to get back on the fingerboard, ready to hit that project once we’re out of this lockdown.

 

Free Solo

Release Date: 31st August 2018
Watch Time: 100 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Disney+

Yeah, we had to start with Free Solo. However you look at it, whatever background you come from, you can’t deny that this is easily the most epic climbing spectacle out there right now – and it’ll be pretty hard to beat, to be honest.

It shows Alex Honnold, the world’s best free soloist (that means climbing sans ropes, totally alone) as he undertakes the hardest free solo climbing project ever attempted – and all brought to you in an Oscar-winning documentary format. This one’s epic.

 

Meru

Release Date: 23rd January 2015
Watch Time: 90 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Another Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (Free Solo directors) masterpiece. Meru follows two attempts by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to climb the 1,200 metre Shark’s Fin route found on Meru Peak, in the Indian Himalayas.

As you can expect with Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk both behind the camera, the cinematography is stunning, especially given the wild locations the trio are in during both attempts. All of this cinematic overload is cut between thoughtful reflections on the difficulties the climbers have all faced on the lead up to their final ascent.

 

Everest

Release Date: 18th September 2015
Watch Time: 130 mins
Where to Watch: Netflix

A $55,000,000 budget, Jake Gyllenhaal cast in the lead roll and some very questionable climbing technique; Everest has got everything you’d expect from a Hollywood adaptation of the disastrous 1996 season on the highest mountain in the world.

OK, it might just be another Hollywood hack at a tragic climbing story – one that arguably takes some liberties with the facts – but you can’t fault its cinematography. Impressive high Himalayan scenes and convincing visual effects both combine to make for an immersive visual re-enactment of the gripping, fateful events that occurred on the mountain. If you haven’t read Jon Krakauer’s epic first-hand account of the disaster, ‘Into Thin Air’, then we’d highly recommend doing so.

 

Lunag Ri

Release Date: 28th July 2018
Watch Time: 35 mins
Where to Watch: redbull.com

Fifteen years after his last childhood visit to his paternal homeland of Nepal, the late, great David Lama sets out on his second attempt to climb the previously unclimbed 6,707 metre Lunag Ri with fellow alpinist Conrad Anker. Expect bad weather, technical issues and a pretty serious health problem to get in their way.

 

Valley Uprising

Release Date: 1st September
Watch Time: 103 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

A must-watch for all climbers, Valley Uprising is a documentary that looks back on the days when a motley crew of hard-living hippy climbers graced the campgrounds of 1970s Yosemite Valley National Park, California.

The feature-length doc includes stories of the climbers pushing themselves to their physical limits whilst conquering the seemingly impossible heights of the surrounding mountains. All at the same time, they see their counterculture being monetised into the type of mainstream sport they resented.

 

Vertical Limit

Release Date: 8th December 2000
Watch Time: 124 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Similar to the film, Everest, Vertical Limit is another Hollywood dramatisation of a tragic day on a Himalayan mountain. In this case, however, the film isn’t based on a true story (thankfully) and is set on the world’s second highest peak instead – K2. Vertical Limit was the film that set the standards for over-the-top Hollywood climbing techniques – they’re so bad, they’re good. And for that reason, Vertical Limit finds its place in this list of the best climbing movies.
 

Touching the Void

Release Date: 5th September 2003
Watch Time: 106 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

This BAFTA award-winning documentary depicts the most famous climbing story out there, one that was first recounted in the epic book Touching the Void by Joe Simpson.

Combining first-hand accounts and visual re-enactment, it shows the perilous journey of two climbers on an expedition to climb the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Just short of the summit, one of them falls down the face, plunging into a deep, dark crevasse and suffering crippling injuries. Assuming the worst, his partner makes the painful decision to head back to camp alone. But the story is far from over…

 

Sufferfest 2

Release Date: 13th November 2014
Watch Time: 26 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold obviously have terrible memory. Following their last (aptly titled Sufferest), the duo plan another trip of epic proportions, this time attempting to climb 45 of the most iconic towers in all four corners of the US, and linking them all up by bike. As the name suggests – and just like the original Sufferfest – this trip doesn’t let up easily, regardless of their incredible skills on the rock.

Expect half an hour of hilarity whilst the goofy duo stumble their way around some of the finest towers in the States, with some horrific rock conditions, brutal cycles and searing heat all thrown in the mix.

 

Wide Boyz II

Release Date: 10th March 2015
Watch Time: 50 mins
Where to Watch: Vimeo on Demand

After their success climbing ‘the world’s hardest off width’ in the original Wide Boyz film, Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall are back and ready for their next crack climbing challenge.

Complete with their finger crack-adapted pain cave formally known as ’The Cellar’, the Wide Boyz aim to train for and climb the mighty Cobra Crack in Squamish BC, considered to be the hardest finger crack in the world. The pressure’s really on for the pair, who only had a short time in British Columbia to complete this test piece.

 

Distilled

Release Date: 18th November 2013
Watch Time: 42 mins
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Taking things on a slightly more wintry theme (it’s never too early to start planning Scottish winter trips), we bring you Distilled. It’s in one part a documentary about the climbing life of distinguished mountaineer and author Andy Cave, but also an ode to Scotland’s mountains and the savage beauty that climbing them in winter affords.

As the story unfolds we see dramatic footage of Andy climbing some of Scotland’s classic and most challenging winter routes in the full spectrum of conditions that the Highlands can conjure.

 

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