© Shawn Reeder/Red Bull Content Pool
10 amazing climbing films you can watch any time you like
Check out our selection of the best climbing movies that you could be watching right now online, on Red Bull TV or via download.
There are lots of good films about climbing out there, but the ones on this list will blow your mind. Most climbing movies combine spectacular scenery with amazing feats and genuine drama – but these focus on the human side, getting right to the heart of some of climbing’s greatest legends and stories.
Every one is worth a couple of hours of your attention, whether you’re into climbing or not.
Be sure to download the free Red Bull TV app and catch the climbing action on all your devices! Get the app here.
1. Valley Uprising
- Directors: Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen and Josh Lowell
- Length: 90 minutes
- In a nutshell: Yosemite National Park’s counterculture climbing scene up close
Valley Uprising is the riveting and unforgettable tale of the bold rock climbing tradition in California's Yosemite National Park: half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity -- and the laws of the land.
Get to know how climbers carved out a counterculture lifestyle of dumpster-diving and wild parties that clashed with the conservative values of the National Park Service in the shady campgrounds of Yosemite valley.
2. 360 Ascent
- Director: Kunstkollectiv
- Length: 48 minutes
- In a nutshell: Slovenian pair climb the tallest chimney in Europe
For six years, the chimney at Trbovlje Power Station has stood dormant and during that time Domen Skōfic has set about trying to ascend what is the tallest chimney of its kind on the continent.
Finally, he gets the all clear and teams up with fellow Slovenian climber Janja Garnbret for a marathon ascent unlike anything either of them have experienced on the World Cup circuit. 360 Ascent lives through the thrills, falls and race against the fading light to reach the summit in a gripping adventure.
3. Beneath the Ice
Beneath the Ice
- Director: Will Gadd
- Length: 17m
- In a nutshell: Experience the extreme depths of the Greenland ice sheet.
"I've been to some of the craziest places on Earth and climbed some pretty insane stuff, but this is another level," said Gadd.
With temperatures plunging down to -30C, it's an inhospitable environment for Gadd and his partner on the trip, glaciologist Jason Gulley, to do their work, but through their efforts new information is gleaned about the Greenland ice cap and how it melts.
4. Cerro Torre: A Snowball's Chance in Hell
- Director: Thomy Dirnhofer
- Length: 1h 41m
- In a nutshell: Documenting first free climb attempt of Cerro Torre
When the late David Lama first saw Cerro Torre in a climbing magazine, he spotted his route up it right away. "I was immediately excited," he said. "I wanted to free climb it."
But Cerro Torre is one of the most formidable mountain faces on the planet. Its 3,128m tower pierces the peaks of Patagonia and near its summit the rock crumbles like flaky pastry. On top is a giant mushroom of ice and its disputed first ascent ended with one climber falling to his death.
When Lama announced his plans to go up unaided, big wall legend Jim Bridwell, who climbed it in 1979, offered one simple piece of advice: "You haven’t got a snowball's chance in hell." Lama didn't listen and what unfolds is a dramatic and ultimately emotional film following his story as he tries and tries and tries to get to the top.
5. Lunag Ri
Lunag Ri 2nd Attempt
- Directors: Michael Ginthoer and Martin Hanslmayr
- Length: 35m
- In a nutshell: A drive to climbing the unclimbed
David Lama and Conrad Ankermake a second attempt to climb the 6,907m Himalayan peak, Lunag Ri. Weather capers, technical challenges and health problems are just a few of the challenges Lama and Anker face as they attempt to make it to the summit.
Of the climb, Lama said: "There are still plenty of unclimbed mountains, but in contrast to Lunag Ri, many of them aren't very attractive from a mountaineering point of view."
Ultimately this second attempt failed, but Lama was able to make a third solo attempt in 2018 and did make it to the summit.
- Director: Philipp Manderla
- Length: 1hr 38m
- In a nutshell: Climbing in a lost world
A trio of climbers launch an expedition to Mount Roraima, a South American peak that's shrouded in legend. Kurt Albert and Holger Heuber don't know what they're in for when they join competitive climbing superstar Stefan Glowacz for an expedition to Mount Roraima, a steep-walled South American peak that sits in deep rainforest that marks the tripoint of Venezuela, Guayana and Brazil.
"There are walls where there's a nigh-on 100 percent probability that you're going to die, just because there's basically always something crashing around you: falling rock, falling ice, everything," Glowacz said of the Mount Roraima climb.
7. Claim Freedom
- Directors: Various
- Length: 52m
- In a nutshell: A climber gets to explore the far reaches of his imagination
In Claim Freedom, four adventurers are given the opportunity to take on once-in-a-lifetime challenges. In the climbing segment, big-wall climber Gareth Leah's search for 'supervillain lairs' leads him on an odyssey to São Tomé, an island off the west coast of Africa, to climb the towering Pico Cão Grandé.
8. K2: The Impossible Descent
K2: The Impossible Descent
- Director: Slawomir Batyra
- Length: 1hr 5m
- In a nutshell: Andrzej Bargiel descends K2 on skis
9. Terra Incognita
- Director: Corey Rich
- Length: 23m
- In a nutshell: Kilian Fischhuber goes well and truly off the grid in Siberia
Terra Incognita – literally not mapped. That's exactly what Kilian Fischhuber and his team got when they set out to find and climb a cluster of granite towers in the extremely remote and barely visited Ulakhan-Sis region of Siberia.
Only spotted and photographed for the first time in 2016, no one even knew if the team could find the towers, let alone climb them when they set off on a true adventure for the modern age.
10. The Last Ascent
The Last Ascent
- Director: Tom Beard
- Length: 45m
- In a nutshell: Will Gadd ice climbing on Kilimanjaro's vanishing snowcap
Sadly, the world's few tropical ice caps are melting rapidly, non more so than Africa's iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, which is losing it's glaciers and ice fields at a frightening rate. Before the ice disappears for ever, renowned ice climber Will Gadd returns to make one last ascent of a mountain he first visited six years earlier in a poignant and thought-provoking film from the top of a continent.