Best climbing movies

Climbing movies – the best climbing movies and documentaries

Climbing movies and documentaries take us into worlds that are often inaccessible to ourselves. As a climber it can sometimes be hard to find a good climbing movie and we wanted to share some of the best climbing movies in this article. 

The best climbing movies according to IMDB rating

Free solo (2018)

Freesolo is the story of Alex Honnold’s dream of free solo climbing the El Cap. The movie has some amazing scenery and just thinking about the climbing in the film makes my hands feel sweaty as I write this. The freesolo movie has brought climbing to a bigger spotlight and especially solo climbing. 

The movie shows the ethical and mental sides of free solo climbing as the film crew are pondering the climb. As  well as when Alex and his then girlfriend Sanni McCandless consider the risks and mental aspects of free solo climbing when considering a relationship.   

Runtime 1h 40min

IMDB 8.2/10

The Dawn Wall (2017)

The dawn wall tells the story of the attempts to free climb the famous rock face of the dawn wall in Yosemite. This is a story of perseverance and overcoming both mental and physical obstacles.

Runtime 1h 40min

IMDB 8.1/10

Valley Uprising (2014)

Valley uprising tells the stories of the early days of climbing in Yosemite when climbing wasn’t as mainstream as it is nowadays. The movie has a great combination of old and new material that will keep you amazed and entertained for the whole duration of the movie.

Runtime 1h 43min

IMDB 8.1/10

The Alpinist (2020)

The alpinist shows a peek in to the solo adventures of Marc-André Leclerc. This climbing movie has quite a different atmosphere compared to more traditional climbing movies. The amazing climbs and scenery are mixed with the ethics of free solo climbing.  

Runtime 1h 32min

IMDB 8/10

Touching the void (2003)

Touching the void is based on the true story of a 1985 ascent ot the west face of Siula Grande in Peru. This is an amazing story of the hardships and dangers they face along the way up and down the mountain.

Runtime 1h 46min

IMDB 8/10

King Lines (2007)

King lines is all about finding great lines to form amazing routes up rock faces. Chris Sharma travels around the world in search of some of the most intimidating and at the same time beautiful routes to make a first ascent on. 
Runtime 1h 1min

IMDB 7.8/10

The Sharp End (2007)

The concept sharp end refers to the part where problems are more likely to show up. In climbing it often refers to the lead climber as opposed to the follower.

The movie shows a highlight reel of some of the most famous climbers of the day such as Dean Potter, Alex Honnold, Steph Davis, Lisa Rands and Ammon McNeely pushing their barriers. This movie has a wide range of different climbing styles such as free soloing, highball bouldering, trad climbing and massive big wall climbs. There are also some highlining and basejumping parts in this action packed film. 

Runtime 1h 3min

IMDB 7.8/10

14 Peaks (2021)

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja is a former special forces operative and 14 Peaks is the story about his attempt to climb all the highest peaks in the world in one season. To be more spesific he is aiming to climb all the 14 peaks in the world that are above 8000 meters high. The movie also features some amazing details about Nirmals’ life, his battle experiences and his amazing fitness. 

Also the movie talks about how this seemingly impossible goal affects Nirmals’ family life. The movie has a strong cast of Nims’ fellow climbers Galjen Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi and Gesman Tenang as well as interviews from such famous mountaineers as Reinhold Messner, Conrad Anker and climber Jimmy Chin. 

Runtime 1h 41min

IMDB 7.8/10

Meru (2015)

Meru is an inspiring story about the attempts of three famous climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to climb the shark fin route on Meru. The documentary shows incredible footage of the climb and the scenery and also showcases the more of the personal lives of these climbers. 

Runtime 1h 30min

IMDB 7.7/10

Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey

Fred Beckey was the guy with the sign ” will belay for food” you have probably seen. He was the first of the famous dirtbag climbers and this movie showcases his life and legendary feats.  

Runtime 1h 36min

IMDB 7.6/10

Kilian Jornet: path to everest

Kilian Jornet not only climbs impressive peaks, but he also does it with such speed to break the speed records. This movie takes a look in to the lives of both Kilian and his family. 

Runtime 1h 20min

IMDB 7.3/10

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

This is a documentary of the 2009 expedition to climb K2. The movie has some amazing scenery and interesting old footage as well as interviews of legendary mountaineers. 

Runtime 1h 15min

IMDB 7.2/10

Everest (2015)

Everest is set in the year 1996 as two commercial expeditions attempt to ascend the highest peak in the world. The film has a great line up of actors, really good scenery and it showcases how the climbing at Everest is becoming more and more commercial. 

Runtime 2h 1min

IMDB 7.1/10

Cerro Torre: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell

This movie features the young star of competition climbing David Lama getting more into outdoor climbing and attempting to climb a beautiful line at the Cerro torre in Patagonia. 

Runtime 1h 41min

IMDB 7.1/10

Fine Lines (2019)

Fine lines features an impressive cast of stars of different  mountain activities. The film goes more in to the mental states and aspects of climbing and is often described as meditative. So don’t expect to get just a spectacular visual show, but also something to think about. 

Runtime 1h 36min

IMDB 7.0/10

The Summit (2012)

The summit is a movie about a day when 11 climbers perished on the mountain K2. The movie shows interviews and videos and recreated scenes from that faithful day. 

Runtime 1h 35min

IMDB 6.9/10

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