Out there, especially on Amazon and Netflix, you will encounter several climbing documentaries, with some proving to be a total failure while others are successful.
In this article, you’ll see to some of the Best Climbing Documentaries on Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon Prime, those that will blow your mind and leave you yearning for more.
As it is always the norm, most climbing documentaries focus on the scenery and the climbers’ drama. That is not the case with the documentaries we are about to review as they emphasize their climbers’ human side, telling their climbing history and their legendary stories.
Every bit of these climbing documentaries on Netflix and amazon prime is worth your precious time, whether you’re a climbing fanatic or not. Keep reading.
1) Free Solo
The Free Solo climbing documentary, directed by Jimmy Chin and his wife Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi featuring Alex Honnold, is currently the best climbing documentary on Amazon Prime. Here, Alex shows his expertise climbing up a 300ft tall Yosemite without a rope or any protective wear.
His free soloing style blew everyone’s mind, creating positive and negative views since this style is hazardous. Besides the high ratings from some of the approved sites, this excellent film has received some massive fortune in monetary value.
It also got nominations for several awards, all of which it won 14, including Oscar awards, EMMY, and BAFTA. This is undoubtedly a must-watch documentary, seeing how determined Alex Honnold was to concur the EL Cape will indeed keep you glued to your screen.
2) Dawn Wall
The Dawn Wall, together with Free Solo, has been on people’s lips for quite a while now. As displayed in these two documentaries, the determination and persistence to get to your target is genuinely something worth your time. Did you know that the route taken by the Down Wall climbers, Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell, is the most challenging route in the world? This makes it the Best Climbing Documentaries on Netflix.
For years, Tommy Caldwell wanted to defeat this route, and like any other person determined to achieve something, he tried severally but failed. But, on Dawn Wall together with his partner Kevin, he got to a height where he could make an ascent.
Everybody, both climbers and non-climbers, found this Dawn Wall documentary from Netflix not only entertaining but also as a challenge. With the simplified jargon and clear graphics making the whole film easy to comprehend, indeed, everyone involved in its making did a fantastic job.
In the following article, we take a look at the 5 big differences between those two incredible movies – The Dawn Wall vs Free Solo.
3) Pretty Strong
This climbing documentary is from Vimeo. The directors of the Pretty Strong documentary are Julie Ellison, Colette Mclnerney, And Leslie Hittmeier. It is an all-women affair since, besides its directors, the climbers too are eight women, including Katie Lambert, Hazel Findlay, Daila Ojeda, Nina Williams, and four others from different corners of the globe.
From this film, you will see these strong female climbers pushing themselves to explore new climbing sites as they push these sporting boundaries.
Watching this documentary, you will go dizzy with the high heights; indeed, these ladies are daring. The landscapes alone will blow your mind, expanding your imagination. At the end of this film, you’ll be motivated to start something new and challenging because of this ladies’ determination.
4) Valley Uprising
Valley Uprising, available on amazon prime, is one of the best climbing documentaries you could ever watch. This documentary gives us a tour of one of the fantastic climbing sites globally, the Yosemite.
Valley uprising is fun to watch and, of course, wild, just like all the Yosemite climbs. Climbers in this documentary are camping illegally on the climbing site and playing hide and seek with the park rangers. They also steal food from others and do everything they possibly can to make climbing at the Yosemite fun.
This is a clear indication that you can never get bored watching this film, as it is one of the best climbing documentaries on Amazon Prime. You surely wouldn’t want to miss some good and deserving laughs.
5) Wide Boyz I + II
You’ll see two great climbers, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, climbing themselves up and off-width. The two legends are known for trying some of the most challenging cracks and off-width in the US.
There is no time for boredom when you watch these documentaries as fun is written all over them. But, besides having fun, you will also be surprised by how well these climbers concur some severe and complex cracks.
Apart from Wide Boyz I + II, directed by Paul Diffley and Chris Alstrin, these two excellent climbers have featured in several other best climbing documentaries, including recovery drink.
6) Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
Fred Beckey did a fantastic job in this climbing documentary. His legacy lives forever. Fred was quite a talented climber; he would climb any length or surface with ease, with or without rope and other protective gears.
This documentary is somehow similar to valley uprising; the concept is the same. So, if you’re a great fan of the Uprising, then you will most probably love watching the dirtbag.
The camera and sound are perfect, and its success is a clear indication that climbing pays. The routes Fred Beckey took in this documentary are daring, only fit for the strong at heart. While watching, you’d think he will fall off the next minute, making it both loving and scary at the same time.
This climbing documentary, available on Amazon UK, is one of Jimmy Chin‘s fantastic works. You will remember him from the free solo documentary. Meru is all about attempting to climb the Meru mountain. You can see these climbers, Renan Ozturk and Conrad Anker trying to go high and the challenges they face.
What draws both climbers and non-climbers to this movie is the fantastic graphics, mental and physical exertion that comes with it. You will never regret taking your 90 minutes to watch it.
8) The Scene
Directed by Chuck Fryberger, the scene is available for rent on Amazon. This documentary covers all the climbing styles taken from different places and brings them all together. It shows why people climb, disputing that climbers are selfish because no climber can do it alone.
The good news is, you can watch this mind-blowing climbing documentary on amazon without paying a dime. All you need to do is subscribe to one sports channel known as the Echoboom and enjoy their seven-day trial.
9) Reel Rock 14
This is the latest climbing documentary of the Reel Rock. It talks about three different stories directed by many people. The first story revolves around one great climber, Nina Williams showing some of her hazardous highball ascents. Nina is such an intelligent and daring climber who has mastered her acts perfectly well.
The second story features one Sleepy Joe. It talks about some burgeoning community valley while the last story is all about Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold competing against each other to beat a record, nose speed, that Jim Reynolds and Grad Gobright had set for them.
Remember Alex and Tommy from free solo and dawn wall, respectively. These two are good buddies outside sports. They have such a strong bond based on the adventures they’ve had in the past together, including this nose speed record.
Unfortunately, this climbing documentary is only available on amazon to buy. You can also support the team that made it a success by downloading a copy from the Reel Rock 14 website.
You will discover that some parts of the reel rock are missing when you watch it from the Red Bull television. You can also watch many climbing series from the Red Bull TV away from the reel rock. These documentaries continue to make history every other day. They including Wide Boyz, La Dura Dura, among several others.
10) Climbing with Pride
Directed by Brian Spiegel, the Climbing with Pride documentary is so much fun watching. It also talks about the town of Fayetteville, which is very insightful since you understand Homoclimbtastic, an event that this town hosts every other year. This event’s primary goal is to bring two communities together; the climbers and non-climbers who enjoy watching people climb.
Homoclimbtastic is the biggest convection event for rock climbers globally. You can imagine the likes of people you can meet there and the number of contacts you can make. This remarkable documentary is available on YouTube. Enjoy it without paying a dime.
11) Stone Locals
For the Stone Local’s documentary, its makers take it as something more than just sports. To them, it provides something much bigger. This film represents a way of life for those who share a common goal. It also shows how the community, now more than ever, has much more responsibility as the climbing family grows.
Stone Locals film narrates how the locals of a particular community with some great production talents take and nature climbing as it evolves. Directed by Cheyne Lempe of reel rock and Mikey Schaefer of Free Solo, these two did a fantastic job. They also did the cinematography part.
Its main goal is to show the world that climbing can help you set your targets and achieve them. It can also help you have a healthy connection with others. Watch it free from YouTube to get all these lessons first hand.
Alex Megos enjoyed his title for being the strongest climber globally until 2013 when a teenager from Germany stole his fame. From the Rotpunkt documentary, we see Alex bringing out all his characters; his fun side, determination, weakness, and strength.
Though filmed for only 50 minutes, this documentary is worth your time, especially if you’re curious to know where climbers got the famous term, redpoint. If you are not familiar with the repoint term, read what is redpoint climbing. You will love seeing this great climbing doing what he does best.
Chelsea Jolly and Ken Etzel directed Rotpunkt’s film. It’s a great climbing piece that will show you what it takes to push your boundaries, as we see Alex trying to climb the most difficult single-pitch rock worldwide. It is available for free on YouTube.
13) Statement of Youth
This climbing documentary, by Nick Brown, gave birth to climbing as a sport in the UK. It remains the best climbing film in their history, produced in the ’80s. The determination you see on these climbers’ faces is extraordinary. They would do just about anything to ensure they climb up full time, from shoplifting to get the basics like food and clothes to sleeping under crags in sheds.
Despite the conditions they lived in, this group of climbers fought their way up to become heroes in their community and British history. The more reason you’ll hear people telling you that through perseverance and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind on. Watch it on YouTube.
14) Mountain of Storms
The story revolves around five friends who took off to South Africa in a white Ford vehicle on a 5000 miles trip. On their way, they had a camera they’d use to document every detail of their journey. They had protective climbing gears, an indication that they went for a climbing adventure, skis, and surfboards. These five were looking forward to having fun.
Mountain of storms portrays modern adventures like sand skiing, ice skating, to mountaineering. It also talks about the original story behind the Patagonia climbing documentary. It ends with Fitz Roys’s very first ascent. You can get this film, by Lito Tejada-Flores and Robert Collinson from YouTube, something you’ll enjoy watching.
15) Stoney Point
Stoney Point, a Portrait of an American Crag, is a documentary that revolves around a small community in Los Angeles, California. Many people overlook this film, but you can only compare the stories around its rich history to very few climbing sites. For the last eight decades, the Stoney point acted as a home to many great climbers from America.
The likes of Royal Robbins, John Bachar, Yvon Chouinard, and Michael Reardon were at one point the locals of the Stoney point. They left a mark in the hearts of the people there through their charity and community development, and their influences on the mountain are still visible.
This documentary, directed by Matthew Talesfore and ole Gibson, is very similar to the stone locals climbing documentary, more of a small local area and its community. You can watch it for free on YouTube.
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