Extreme Adventure Ever Upping the Ante[Valley Uprising]
Jack Kerouac channeled anti-establishment spirit in the 1950s at the same time cliff climbing culture began to ascend from the valley of Yosemite National Park. Kerouac said, “Because in the end, you won't remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that mountain.” The documentary “Valley Uprising” captures the vitality of 60 years of climbing, from the impossible to the “done that” to the “what next.”
The freedom of being a little dot on a big wall was dressed in the dirtbag culture of bare-essentials camping, drug and alcohol inspired raunch, and counter-culture hey dude. The passion marinated in feedback loops of climbing ethics, hard trained athleticism, and competitive prodding.
“Valley Uprising” is a well-crafted integration of personalities, archival footage, and good storytelling. Bull your way through the following historical scrunch of “Really? Oh, My God.” Then, see “Valley Uprising”:
Half Dome (2000 feet) in 5 days. “Nose” of El Capitan (3000 feet) in 18 months (engineered multi-trip equipment hauls). “Nose” of El Capitan in 7 days (no expansion bolts or fixed-in-place ropes). After multiple routes up El Capitan, the “Dawn Wall” in 28 days (with ugly bolting but admirable skills as well).
The “Stonemasters” influx (aka “Stoned Masters”). “Nose” of El Capitan in 1 day (free climbing where equipment is the safety, not what you climb on). Strict enforcements of behavior by rangers. Free solo climbing (no safety equipment). Marketed celebrity puts “rock” stars on TV shows and commercials. “Nose” of El Capitan in 1 day by a woman (free solo climb in an overwhelmingly male domain).
The “Stone Monkeys” influx. El Capitan in 2.5 hours (relying on free solo climbing but using tactical equipment for speed). El Capitan AND Half Dome in 1 day. El Capitan AND Half Dome AND Mt. Watkins (adding 2200 vertical feet) in 1 day. Slack lining (tightrope walking) at dizzying heights. Cat and Mouse enforcement after 7 days camping per year law instituted. Base jumping (flying suit glides 100 mph until opening a parachute; 6 months jail, $5000 fine). Free base (Free solo except wearing a parachute).