FIVE REASONS WHY “VALLEY UPRISING” ROCKS
BY SIDNI GIORDANO
Yosemite is high on the radar of everyone from NBC News to Rock and Ice but something else big happened when it comes to the history of America’s favorite big wall playground this week. Sender Films released “Valley Uprising,” it’s film about the history of big wall climbing in the park on demand on Vimeo. If you care about climbing, or are even just a casual observer, you’ll want to check this out. Here’s why:
• It’s not just for climbers. Since its inception, REEL Rock Film Tour has featured an epic mix of short films highlighting the latest climbing porn laden with stories and characters that only hold significance among the climbing community. However, in its 9th year, Sender Films and Big UP Productions decided to showcase Valley Uprising, a full-length documentary that explores the 60-year climbing history of Yosemite National Park. You don’t need to come from a climbing background to appreciate the stories of 60s counter-culture, drug-smuggling plane crashes or the breathtaking views of the Valley itself. In fact, it’s even narrated by Hollywood actor Peter Sarsgaard.
• It’s a work of art. This 90-minute film was indeed a labor of love, taking seven years, 50 interviews and dozens of trips to Yosemite to complete. The historic, never-before-seen photos are revamped with a 2.5-D animation twist and the soundtrack features . The cinematography within the first five minutes alone will have you questioning why you’re not in the Valley at that very moment.
• It pays tribute to the legends. It’s rare to be involved in a sport where the majority of the men and women who brought it into the forefront are still alive today. Many modern-day climbers start out by pulling plastic in the gym, removing them from the rich history and culture that once dominated the community. This film allows the newest generation of climbers to cultivate a deep sense of respect for the founders who made it all possible.
• It will make you feel like you were born in the wrong generation. You will leave the theater feeling nostalgic for events that happened before you were even born. Valley Uprising does such a great job at glorifying the dirtbag days of Camp 4 that you’d do anything to go back in time to live like an elective refugee and eat expired cat food with Yvon Chouinard. Well, maybe some of you Mountain Gazette readers were born in this generation…
• It gets you psyched for the future of climbing. Before Warren Harding made the first ascent of The Nose in 1958, climbing El Capitan was considered impossible. Just a few decades later, climbers are free-soloing the same route in a matter of hours and BASE-jumping from the summit. It’s really amazing to see how much the sport and its culture have come, and the possibilities are endless for future generations. The free ascent of the Dawn Wall is just the beginning.