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Valley Uprising: Documentary or Entertainment Film?
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May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Tezcatlipoca, Moab Utah
So, I finally watched Valley Uprising. It seemed to be lacking facts (the small amount of facts seemed distorted based on the personal opinion/perception of the filmmakers); tried to dramatize a relationship between two climbers who rarely met (robbins and harding- unless I am wrong, and they did in fact meet lots); barely touched the history of western climbing; and did not really focus on the climbing in Yosemite (scoring gasoline-lake pot is more important to discuss, not). Most of the movie focused on the group called, "the stone masters"; purportedly the best climbers of their day (according to the movie). To me, this was dumb.

I went into the movie hoping to learn more about who set what routes, what kind of work/time they had to log to complete the problems, and the various styles of climbing being performed (i.e. history). None of that was even discussed because Dean Potter Free Basing, pot lake, and the "war" with park rangers, was more important. (Dean Potter is my favorite climber/overall badass- but the only person I know who did that, and it did not seem relevant to a climbing documentary [especially on which claims to be about the history and evolution of climbing] because it is such an isolated act- R.I.P Dean). End rant.

What are your thoughts on this "documentary"?
Laronicus Lehmanold
From Salt Lake, UT
Joined Feb 19, 2014
281 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Somewhere on Prusik Peak.
It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that! Nick Sweeney
From Spokane, WA
Joined Jun 8, 2013
672 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Afrika Bambatta V12 Elkland
mountainsandwater.com/2015/01/...
was my take on this film
Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,056 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
I liked it but it's impossible to be disappointed without expectations and I had none. Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
May 31, 2016
Too much focus on the most documented portion of Yos history while all but ignoring the criminally under documented 50's and 80's climbing achievements. When it was being teased during the multi year run, up I was really excited to hear more about these periods after all the writing about the Masters and the Monkeys. Disappointed to see it was more of the same.

After this one I'm not looking forward to their Dawn Wall treatment(50 min of explaining free climbing, gratuitous Robbins/Harding montage, 5 min edit of climbing on the wall, #whatsyourdawnwall ?)
Rob T
Joined Jun 20, 2006
26 points
May 31, 2016
Excellent documentary. It can't be all things to all people. Unless you want a six-hour movie. FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
284 points
May 31, 2016
1. it's both
2. I really liked it
3. You wanted a history - which is well documented in books - and the filmmakers provided a perspective on the time frame when the events happened instead
4. Documentary filmmakers always have a particular point of view - it's to be expected in a documentary
5. Did you watch the credits where they mention all the stuff they wanted to include but couldn't in a reasonable run length.
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
64 points
May 31, 2016
It's pretty clear that it was produced "for the masses" and not, like previous Reel Rock films, "for the climbers".

Either way, I enjoyed it!
Michael Lagueux
From San Diego, CA
Joined Mar 16, 2012
231 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Tezcatlipoca, Moab Utah
Marc801 wrote:
1. it's both 2. I really liked it


I get the argument of the whole "time frame" thing with movies. Books are always better with being thorough. However, this movie seemed to want to discuss the actions of people away from crags, specifically the stone masters- glorifying their behaviors, and in my opinion, trying to depict all dedicated climbers as the hippie dirt bags they were (most of us do not prescribe to such a depiction/lifestyle, and we abide by local, state, and federal laws). Seems to me like they could have focused another half hour or more to some of those climbers listed before the credits, instead of stroking their own egos.
Laronicus Lehmanold
From Salt Lake, UT
Joined Feb 19, 2014
281 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: wiped
man, people always need something to be butt-hurt about. Jake wander
Joined Aug 11, 2014
168 points
May 31, 2016
I thought this documentary was rad and it got me really psyched to start climbing hard again.

I think it would be cool if there was a general climbing doc that went in depth, as there were tons of great climbing achievements made throughout the entire southwest, northeast, Pacific Northwest, south east and Canada during this time. Midwest had to road trip :p

And it seems wrong to talk about Robins without mentioning Tahquitz or The Organ.
Aashiq
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Oct 7, 2013
3 points
May 31, 2016
Jake wander wrote:
man, people always need something to be butt-hurt about.


I don't detect one ounce of butt hurt in any of the above responses. Butt hurt is not synonymous with criticism.

Yes, butt hurt is measured in ounces.
Eric G.
From Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined Apr 18, 2012
78 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux of 6' man roof (5.11d).
Laron Lemon wrote:
"the stone masters"; purportedly the best climbers of their day (according to the movie).


I haven't seen the movie yet so I don't know exactly how they were portrayed, but I think most would agree that they were very influential during that time period.
will ar
From San Antonio, TX
Joined Jan 11, 2010
231 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux of 6' man roof (5.11d).
Nick Sweeney wrote:
It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that!


Finally, something I actually want to watch on Netflix. Guess I know what I'm doing tonight.
will ar
From San Antonio, TX
Joined Jan 11, 2010
231 points
May 31, 2016
will ar wrote:
I haven't seen the movie yet so I don't know exactly how they were portrayed, but I think most would agree that they were very influential during that time period.


Yep, as chronicled by their bard, John Long, photographer, Bullwinkle, and approximately a third of the climbing mags in the 90's. This is also probably why those who've seen/read all of the above were hoping for some new material this time.
Rob T
Joined Jun 20, 2006
26 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Tezcatlipoca, Moab Utah
Nick Sweeney wrote:
It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that!


Agreed. Excellent entertainment, even with my criticisms. (:
Laronicus Lehmanold
From Salt Lake, UT
Joined Feb 19, 2014
281 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Tezcatlipoca, Moab Utah
Peter Beal wrote:
mountainsandwater.com/2015/01/... was my take on this film


Peter, thank you. Your input is greatly appreciated. I would love to learn more about the history of climbing in the United States. Where can I find a comprehensive history? Is there one?
Laronicus Lehmanold
From Salt Lake, UT
Joined Feb 19, 2014
281 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Chair Peak, top of first pitch
This was what I thought about it:
fringesfolly.com/2015/02/16/valley-downfall-how-valley-uprising-distorts-climbing-history/
I literally watched it with a notebook and my finger on the pause button and kept track of how much they interviewed each person and what specific climbs they talked about, it was pretty illuminating.

I obviously thought Bisharat's review on Evening Sends was pretty good too and it's worth looking up.
Jacob Smith
From Seattle, WA
Joined Aug 10, 2013
249 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
I was surprised at how little they talked about Choinard or the impact of climbing technology on the free-climbing revolution. It's s fun flick, though. Watched it about a week before Dean died, too...was eerie. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
May 31, 2016
Laron Lemon wrote:
Peter, thank you. Your input is greatly appreciated. I would love to learn more about the history of climbing in the United States. Where can I find a comprehensive history? Is there one?


I learned a lot from this documentary film:

m.youtube.com/watch?v=XvJK5IuS...
Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 21, 2010
11 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
Been discussed a couple of times already-

mountainproject.com/v/valley-u...

mountainproject.com/v/reel-roc...

@EmCos-

Looks like a painful fall in your educational film.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
May 31, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Tiffany Mountain, Okanogan County, WA.
J Marsella wrote:
avoirdupois, troy, or (pleas god no) fluid?

Well Emperor Palpatine told us to "Let the butthurt flow through you", so I assume that it is a liquid and therefore is measured in fluid ounces.
Gavin W
Joined Feb 19, 2015
134 points
Jun 1, 2016
Em Cos wrote:
I learned a lot from this documentary film: m.youtube.com/watch?v=XvJK5IuS...

That was great :)
Squeak
From Perth West OZ
Joined Feb 15, 2016
5 points
Jun 1, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Mo-vemember
If you want more history and less glitter, read Camp 4. Very good book on the history of the valley climbing. I personally really like valley uprising, its informative enough for most while still being entertaining to the masses. crom
Joined Mar 18, 2015
5 points
Jun 1, 2016
It's a documentary, but not the type OP was looking for.

While there is some interesting history presented, the film was more about climber culture in Yosemite, than climbing in Yosemite.
Brian L.
Joined Feb 19, 2016
81 points
Jun 1, 2016
Laron Lemon wrote:
I went into the movie hoping to learn more about who set what routes, what kind of work/time they had to log to complete the problems...


Sounds like you want to hear about gym routes on artificial walls. And boulder problems. You know, the things that make Yosemite special.
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,617 points


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