Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: Phys. Ed.: Recreation & Sports

The Mountain Climbing Series

Featuring an exclusive interview with Sir Edmund Hillary and another award-winning program narrated by Robert Redford, this series also offers spectacular on-location documentaries that capture the danger and adventure of professional mountain climbing expeditions. Programs available on 6 individual DVDs, Click for more

2. Free Climb: The Northwest Face of Half Dome

CINE Golden Eagle Award
Narrated by Robert Redford, this classic program documents the first free ascent of the 2,200-foot high vertical northwest face of Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, California, which was accomplished by two experienced rock climbers, Jim Erickson and Art Higbee, in 1976. It could be argued that this vertical Half Dome of granite is the most recognized site in Yosemite National Park; its image appears in the California State quarter and has been the inspiration behind many company and organization logos, including the Sierra Club and the company known as The North Face. How anyone could consider free climbing something nearly twice as high as the Empire State Building seems unimaginable; however, he we see it could be done. Free climbing, unlike aid climbing, means climbers may use only their hands, feet and other parts of the body to ascend; ropes and any other equipment may be used only for protection against possibility of injury. Beyond the incredible climbing and photography, what makes this program so compelling is the human drama. Erickson, we learn, had failed in nine previous attempts; then, as we watch both climbers reach 1000 feet, an unwelcome storm makes them have to face defeat again; we hear from Erickson's wife, Nancy, and Higbee's girlfriend, Carolyn Gomez, who add their insightful perspectives; then, six weeks later, both climbers make their monumental attempt again. Amazingly, after 34 hours, the climbers ascend to 2180 feet when they are forced to use ropes to reach the final 20 feet. To them it is a "magnificent failure"; but to history, it is a "magnificent achievement," hailed by all as the first successful free climb of Half Dome. Directed/Cinematography by Robert Godfrey. Produced by Richard Black and John Wiegand. 99/08DE IJSCA 30 min.
Also See: Yosemite: Spirits Among the Rocks; Yosemite: Preserving the Wild; Climb! Colorado
Also with Robert Redford: Shadow Casting: The Making of "A River Runs Through It"
Associated Article: Verticle Horizons: Rock Climbing -National Parks Magazine

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