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Top 5 Best Rock Climbing Movies

Updated on December 14, 2014
Rock climbing in the Blue mountains.
Rock climbing in the Blue mountains. | Source

Looking For Awe-Inspiring Rock Climbing Documentaries?

There's something so beautiful, so intense, and so terrifying about rock climbing at the professional level that it literally boggles the mind. These athletes and enthusiasts have learned how to control their bodies, both physically and mentally, to such an extent that they are able to accomplish climbs that most of us would consider impossible. It's like watching someone ballet dance their way up the side of a 200-story building . . . insane.

Whether you are a rock climbing enthusiast or not, these films are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Enjoy!

1. The Sharp End

DVD - THE SHARP END: Rock Climbing
DVD - THE SHARP END: Rock Climbing

Follow the best climbers in the world as they attempt some of the most difficult routes on the planet, pushing the limits of free soloing, big wall, high-ball bouldering, trade climbing, and more. This film features Dean Potter, Cedar Wright, Alex Honnold, Lisa Rands, Chris McNamara, Steph Davis, Renan Ozturk, and Ammon McNeely.

  • Type: Documentary
  • Release date: August 15, 2007
  • Runtime: 63 mins
  • Director(s): Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen
  • Stars: Bernd Arnold, Hank Caylor, Johnny Copp, Micah Dash, Jindrich Hudecek, Dean Potter

The Sharp End Trailer—Sender Films

2. First Ascent (Six-Part Series)

First Ascent - 6 part series
First Ascent - 6 part series

This groundbreaking, six-part series is unlike anything you've ever seen. First Ascent follows climbers in search of the most beautiful, challenging locations around the world. Watch as these cutting-edge athletes push the boundaries of what is possible and elevate climbing to a level few can even begin to imagine.

  • Type: Documentary—six-part series
  • Release date: October 1, 2006
  • Runtime: Varies by disc, approximately 30 minute per video
  • Director(s): Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen
  • Stars: Didier Berthod, David Lama, Timmy O'Neill, Kevin Perez, Dean Potter, Sonnie Trotter

First Ascent: The Series Trailer—Sender Films

3. King Lines

King Lines
King Lines

King Lines a the ground-breaking, Emmy Award winning rock climbing movie. This high-definition film follows climber Chris Sharma, a highly regarded and well known rock climber who hails from Santa Cruz, CA, over the course of a year and a half as he rises to amazing levels of climbing all across the world (including Venezuela, Greece, Spain, and France).

  • Type: Documentary
  • Release date: March 1, 2007
  • Runtime: 70 mins
  • Director(s): Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer
  • Stars: Melissa LaCasse, Tony Lamprecht, Miquel Riera, Chris Sharma, Sam Whittaker

King Lines Trailer—Sender Films & Big Up Productions

4. Progression


Progression is another film that not only includes Chris Sharma, but also features other world-class climbers like Tommy Caldwell, Daniel Woods, Adam Ondra, Kevin Jorgeson, Patxi Usobiaga, Johanna Ernst, Alex Honnold, Paul Robinson, Matt Segal, and more as they boggle your mind with astounding rock-climbing action.

  • Type: Documentary
  • Release date: October 1, 2009
  • Runtime: 70 mins
  • Director(s): Bret Lowell, Josh Lowell, Cooper Roberts
  • Stars: Tommy Caldwell, Johanna Ernst, Alex Honnold, Kevin Jorgeson, Adam Ondra, Paul Robinson, Matt Segal, Chris Sharma, Patxi Usoblaga, Daniel Woods

Progression Trailer—Big Up Productions

5. Dosage V

Dosage V
Dosage V

Dosage V is a gorgeous documentary from Emmy Award-winning cameramen Josh and Brett Lowell. It includes awe-inspiring footage that takes the viewer to Yosemite, China, Arkansas, Spain, Colorado, and New England to witness some of the year's most outstanding climbing accomplishments. You'll need to see it to believe it.

  • Type: Documentary
  • Release date: September 15, 2008
  • Runtime: 75 mins
  • Director(s): Bret Lowell, Josh Lowell
  • Stars: Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Beth Rodden, Tommy Caldwell, Dani Andrada

Dosage V Trailer—Big Up Productions

Rock Climbers Poll

Have you ever tried rock climbing?

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Do the palms of your hands get sweaty just watching these trailers?

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What's your favorite Rock Climbing Movie?

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Reader Feedback - Comments, suggestions or questions in Haiku form preferred.

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great list of rock climbing documentaries moving. Real interesting to know about them. Voted up!

    • profile image

      Chad Heddleston 2 years ago

      Almost Alpine is the best rock climbing movie ever made- just so you know.

    • Legenden profile image

      Legenden 4 years ago

      I love rock climbing. Great lens! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      "Do the palms of your hands get sweaty just watching these trailers?

      Yes! These guys (and girls) are crazy!

      Nah, I'd love to be up there with them!"

      Huh? Your palms get sweaty when you get pumped about climbing. The options here should be "Yes, I'd love to be up there with them!" and "No, these guys (and girls) are crazy!"

    • jojones55 lm profile image

      jojones55 lm 5 years ago

      Excellent page. I'm going to have to give King Lines a watch and give it more than just a mention on my lens

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 6 years ago

      Great movies to add to my watching list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like to watch but I could never climb a mountain like they do , scared :)

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 6 years ago from USA

      Rock climbing looks very scary but I enjoy watching some else do it! :)

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 6 years ago from USA

      Rock climbing looks very scary but I enjoy watching some else do it! :)

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 6 years ago

      I've never been rock climbing but I have seen some brave atheltes at the Chief in BC. It must be a wonderful experience that I would like to try someday

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      Scary stuff - my son does this.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      I was just enjoying some rock climbing on The Amazing Race ... and thinking, you go girl ... but not for me.

    • oyningen profile image

      oyningen 6 years ago

      Very well written lens, thumbs up! :D