The well loved climbing documentary showcase series is back for it's 15th tour! The lineup for the four mini-docs of Reel Rock 15 has been announced with a trailer expected soon. Featuring big walls, legendary routes, adventurous journeys, and frozen waterfalls.
The Reel Rock 15 tour is now looking for hosts so start pestering your local gym about screenings now! The tour may well look very different this year and might involve streaming or online shows. However, watching the latest film at a local gym or through a small outdoor retailer could help out a lot right now so please consider supporting your scene.
Reel Rock 15 Film Lineup
Native Son - Lonnie Kauk
"Lonnie Kauk’s personal journey to honor his indigenous Yosemite roots, and to connect with his legendary father by repeating his iconic climbs."
Lonnie Kauk is an incredible climber and boulderer who has lived in the valley most of his life. He is a descendant of the Ahwahnechee people that lived in the valley - which was originally known as Ahwahnee. He was also a professional snowboarder for a time.
He's a constant climber who regularly climbs high ball boulder problems and free solo's classic routes. Take a look at his instagram for non-stop send footage.
His father Ron Kauk was a legend in climbing in Yosemite who climbed many of the classics there. He made the first ascent of "Midnight Lighting" V8, which is probably the most famous boulder problem in the world. He still climbs and now runs Sacred Rok, a charity that takes kids from foster care and the prison system out on trips hiking and climbing in Yosemite.
The famous "Magic Line " 5.14c / 8c+ trad route was originally climbed by Ron in 1996 on pre-placed trad gear. Lonnie repeated it in the same style in 2016, then went back to climb it while placing the gear on lead. It's one of the hardest trad routes in the world, and ties with another Yosemite single pitch trad route "Meltdown" 5.14c / 8c+ for it's thin crack style and difficulty.
Action Directe - Melissa La Neve
"French powerhouse Melissa Le Neve spends seven years battling insane moves, inner doubt, and the burden of history to climb the most revered sport route on earth."
Earlier this year Melissa Le Neve climbed Action Directe, a historic climb in the Frankenjura. It's considered the first 9a / 5.14d (though there are other contenders that were also undergraded at the time) and sending it is almost a rite of passage for many pros.
It was her first 9a and she was the first woman to complete the route. It's famous for the crux move, a dynamic backwards jumps from a pocket to a two-finger pocket. The classic move and the poster of Wolfgang Güllich doing the move was everywhere in the 80's and 90's.
First Ascent / Last Ascent - Hazel Findlay and Maddy Cope
"Best friends Hazel Findlay and Maddie Cope journey to the rocky outer reaches of Mongolia, on a quixotic search for new trad routes."
Hazel Findlay and Maddy Cope have been climbing together for years - check out this Black Diamond video of them doing hard trad in Sweden. This time they search out unclimbed rock in remote areas, facing snow and intense sun to spy out new lines.
"A crew of aspiring ice climbers from the Memphis Rox gym travels to the frozen wilds of Montana, where mentors Manoah Ainuu, Conrad Anker and Fred Campbell share their love of winter adventure in the mountains."
Montana has a huge range of ice and mixed climbing available, including massive frozen waterfalls and pictureque days out. Memphis Rox is a climbing gym in inner city Memphis, Tennessee where most of the community might never have heard of rock climbing.
It was founded by movie director Tom Shadyac with a "pay what you can" model. The idea is that anyone can come in and climb, regardless of what they can afford. It allows many people who wouldn't normally be able to afford to try the sport to come regularly, become part of a community, and learn new skills that give them opportunities they may never have had.
The trailer for Reel Rock 15 should be streaming soon, and the film may well be available to stream and download sooner than normal as there will probably be less of a physical tour.