Climbing Films Light Up Big Screens at ShAFF

20th Feb 2014

There’s another bumper crop of climbing films at this year’s Sheffield Adventure Film Festival with 24 films - including two features - spread across three special Climb Film Sessions and two Mountain Film sessions, including our Sheffield Hospitals Charity fundraiser with Jamie Andrew and the premiere of WideBoyz II – Slender Gentlemen.  There is also a wide range of lectures including Alastair Lee, James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker as well as James MacHaffie.

The ShAFF 2014 trailer (produced by Peak District filmmakers Lukasz Warzecha and Wojtek Kozakiewicz at Polished Project) received 40,000 views in its first week hosted exclusively on BMC TV and is now on general release on YouTube.

Jamie Andrew copyright Matt Hall 35_3_2Half the ticket price of the Jamie Andrew event as well as a suggested donation of £1 from every ticket sold will go towards Sheffield Hospitals Charity to help raise the £5,000 that is needed to provide a blood fridge in the resuscitation room of the Emergency Department at the Northern General Hospital so that urgent transfusions can be immediately given to patients losing blood.

Festival Director, Matt Heason, said:  “Having an extra screen over the road at Sheffield Hallam University’s Pennine Lecture theatre means we’re able to show more than a 100 films this year.” 

“Climbing films are always at the heart of ShAFF and this year is no exception.  We are proud to host a very special event on Saturday night – quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew will screen his forthcoming Channel 5 film about his attempt on The Matterhorn as part of our Sheffield Hospitals Charity fundraiser, followed by a lecture by Jamie and panel discussion.”

“We’re privileged to be premiering the WideBoyz sequel after the long and short versions of the original scooped our top two Climbing Film awards last year.  You can meet the off-width crack experts in person at Tom and Pete’s lecture.  It’s also an honour to have Alastair Lee giving a talk and exhibiting his landscape photography as well as screening The Last Great Climb.”


PS Check out Sheffield landscape photographer Dan Arkle's long exposure video tribute to climbing, biking and running in the Peak District, Lights, Camera, Action.  The CLIMB image above is taken from the film and used stop motion animation on a timelapse backdrop, filmed in the Burbage Valley.





75 Byth rhy hen (75 Never Too Old): Jeremy Trumper is a farmer. He’s 75 years old and has an obsession with the devil! A true wonder of the climbing world. The Devil's Tower in the cowboy state of Wyoming is an American National Moument and a prominent location in Stephen Spielberg's iconic UFO film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Together with his friend and mentor the legendary Eric Jones, the two evergreen adventurers set out to prove that "you're never too old to achieve your dreams!". Note - Welsh language subtitled. Duration: 25 minutes

Assault on El Capitan: Assault on El Capitan is the story of the second ascent of one of the hardest routes 'Wings of Steel'  by the 'El Cap Pirate' Ammon McNeely and Kait Barber.  Following Kait and Ammon up the route the film also examines the controversial history of the first ascent 29 years ago by Mark Smith and Richard Jensen and explores Ammon's life as a climber, base jumper and adventurer.  It's well worth reading Tony O'Donnell's excellent The Outdoor Times' review of the film , especially if you're a non-climber and not familiar with the back story. Duration: 67 minutes

Broken Toe:  Got a climbing injury?  Don't let that stop you.  Be inspired by this bunch of climbers from Belfast and their innovative approach to staying in top shape even when you're on crutches.  Tops Off 4POWER Productions say they "make wee films for ourselves and our friends".  Based on how much we liked this witty and original short, we think they should start making films for the wider public too. Duration: 6 minutes


Careless Torque: Mina Leslie-Wujastyk climbs 'Careless Torque' in the Peak District - the first female ascent since Ron Fawcett first climbed the arête in 25 years ago.  The film is an understated but gripping account of her tenatious attempt to master the Stanage Plantation classic boulder problem. Careless Torque is a Sheffield double.  25 year old Mina moved to Sheffield to study here when she was 18 and has stayed here ever since and filmmaker Nick Brown is another former Sheffield Student.  It's great to feature his work again at ShAFF.  Two years ago we were lucky enough to premiere 'Life on Hold' - the UK's first full length bouldering film in a decade.  Duration: 9 minutes

Distilled: 'Distilled' is a celebration of Scottish winter climbing and a poignant profile of Andy Cave's journey from the depths of a Yorkshire coal mine to the peaks of the Himalayas.  From Paul Diffley at Edinburgh based HotAches (the producer of last year's Sheffield Adventure Film Festival Best Climbing Film Prize Winner 'WideBoyz') 'Distilled' examines what makes climbing in Scotland - where Andy first climbed as a teenager - so potent.  Andy reflects on his climbing career against a backdrop of dramatic footage of him tackling some of Scotland’s classic and most challenging winter routes in the full spectrum of conditions that Scotland’s mountains can conjure.  In his Calm&Fearless review, Ed Douglas writes: "Judging by Distilled, Diffley would seem the film-maker most likely to offer something fresh over the next few years...confidence to linger and think, rather than spin through the drama as quickly as possible." Duration: 42 minutes

High Tension (Reel Rock): Last year, Mount Everest made headlines around the world this year when it was reported that Ueli Steck (known as the 'Swiss Machine') and Simone Moro, one of the strongest duos in alpinism, were attacked by a crowd of angry sherpas at Camp 2 while attempting a cutting edge new route on the highest — and most crowded — mountain in the world.  Filmmakers from the REEL ROCK Tour were embedded with the climbing team which included British mountaineer and photographer Jon Griffith and five times Everest summiteer Melissa Arnot and their exclusive access provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of what happened that day, and why.  Duration: 36 minutes

Into The Frame - Little Chamonix: In March 2011 Joe Beaumont, an experienced climber, mountain biker and sky diver fell 40 metres from a rock face in the Lake District. Though his injuries were incredibly severe his resilience and determination kept him alive and he began a very long and painful recovery whilst undergoing multiple operations on different parts of his body. 'In the Frame - Little Chamonix' follows Joe as he takes his first steps back on rock.  Duration: 10 minutes

Jan Hojer Training: A glimpse of what it takes to be a top climber.  Behind the scenes at the climbing wall with outdoor boulderer Jan Hojer.  Duration: 8 minutes


Keeper of the Mountains: At 90 years old, Elizabeth Hawley is the world’s foremost authority on Himalayan mountaineering despite never having climbed a mountain herself. This is a snapshot portrait of a woman who has interviewed thousands of expedition leaders and is a force of nature every bit as impressive and indefatigable as the alpinists she covers. Duration: 25 minutes

Life of a Mountain - Scafell Pike: An exclusive sneak preview of director Terry Abraham's forthcoming feature film.  The full two hour film examines the lives of the people who live and work in the shadow of the Scafells along with interviews with some of the areas legends of fell running, climbing and photography.  Like this?  Check out the special festival edit of The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend.  We're also delighted that Terry will be coming to ShAFF.  Duration: 20 minutes (exact time tbc)


Off-Width Outlaw: Pamela Shanti Pack is one of the most accomplished off-width climbers in the world (male or female).  In recent year's Pamela has focussed on establishing first acents in the unique and particularly brutal style of climbing known as off-width.  (You may have seen her featured in last year's Best Climbing Film winner, WideBoyz, commenting on Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall's ascent of Century Crack).  Off-Width Outlaw follows Pamela in her quest to establish new routes in the desert climbing meca of Indian Creek in southeastern Utah while providing a glimpse into what makes Pamela tick.  Duration: 5 minutes


Parthian Shot (Ben Bransby): Since the crucial flake broke on the seminal route, Parthian Shot, nobody had managed to re climb it.  Ben Bransby sets out to repeat it and finds it to be a pretty taxing experience.  Duration: 13 minutes


Spice Girl (Reel Rock): The UK climbing scene is known for its strict traditional ethic, dangerous routes and a competitive machismo among the driven young climbers risking it all to prove their boldness. It’s the last place you’d expect to find a nice little blonde girl putting all the lads to shame, but Hazel Findlay is doing just that.  24 year old Hazel is the first woman to climb the British grade of E9 (super hard, super sketchy), Hazel is a connoisseur of loose rock, dodgy gear, and big runouts. Having mastered the scrappy sea cliffs at home (with her Dad Steve belaying!) she teams up with American climber Emily Harrington to tackle the massive, untamed big walls of Taghia Gorge, Morocco.  This REEL ROCK Tour film gives a great insight into the psyche of one of Britain's best female climbers.  Duration: 25 minutes

Sport Life - Ice: British climber Tim Emmett explores ice cliffs and caves.  Armed with two axes he pushes the boundaries of the frozen world. Duration: 8 minutes


The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend: A celebration of the UK’s largest and highest National Park, with internationally respected backpacker and author Chris Townsend (author of 17 books including the best-selling ‘The Backpacker’s Handbook’) Duration: 40 minute festival edit (full length running time 96 mins)

The Last Great Climb: Described as an "epic to end all mountain epics" set in the stunning mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, The Last Great Climb is a feature documentary follow top adventure climber Leo Houlding with his tried and tested team of Jason Pickles and Sean 'Stanley' Leary as they attempt to make the first ascent of the NE ridge of 'the master piece of the range'; the majestic Ulvetanna Peak (2931m). One of the most technically demanding climbs in one of the world's harshest environments.  Duration: 60 minutes


The Limbless Mountaineer: In January 1999 mountaineer Jamie Andrew and a climbing partner were trapped for five nights on the storm bound icy summit of a French mountain.  The rescue, which was one of the most dramatic in the history of the Alps, came only hours too late to save his partner.  Jamie, despite suffering hypothermia and appalling frostbite, survived.  Days later all four of his hands and feet were amputated.  For many this fate would have meant the end of all hope, but not for Jamie.  Since losing his hands and feet Jamie has achieved some incredible feats.  He has learned to walk again, taken up skiing, run marathons and iron-man triathlons, and remarkably, returned to climb once more in the mountains that he loves so much.  Now Jamie returns to the Alps, leaving behind his wife and three young children, to set out to achieve his long held dream of becoming the most disabled person ever to climb The Matterhorn. Duration: 45 minutes


The Road from Karakol: In the summer of 2011, alpinist Kyle Dempster set out across Kyrgyzstan’s back roads on his bike.  His goal – ride across the country via old Soviet roads while climbing as many of the region’s impressive peaks as possible. He was alone. He’d purchased his bike just weeks before and had never bike toured.  He carried only a minimalist’s ration of climbing gear and knew ten words of Kyrgyz vocabulary.  Duration: 35 minutes


The Sensei (Reel Rock) Forty-three-year-old Yuji Hirayama is one of the great legends of modern climbing.  Near retirement, he plans one big swan-song mission to complete a project, one of his hardest ever, at the spectacular summit of Mount Kinabalu, on the island of Borneo. But first he must find the right partner.  Enter Daniel Woods, the young American boulderer who is one of the strongest humans in the climbing world, but lacks mountain experience. Daniel-San travels to Japan to prove himself worthy of Hirayama's mentorship, and the unlikely duo team up for the expedition of a lifetime. Duration: 26 minutes


The Summit: The deadliest day on the worlds most dangerous mountain.  In the summer of 2008, around 70 people from 15 separate expeditions attempted to climb world's second highest summit, K2.  11 climbers lost their lives, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.  Piecing together interviews with survivors combined with actual video and beautifully recreated footage, the story that emerges of what happened is at times contradictory but always gripping.  Duration: 99 minutes


The Sufferfest: Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright go on a road trip 'Alpine Style, Dirt Bag Minimalist Style', attempting to free solo climb all the 14,000 ft Californian peaks in free solo AND cycling to each of them in three weeks.  They may both be pro climbers but neither of them have ever road cycled before and having underestimated the scope of the challenge, Alex and Cedar soon spiral down a rabbit hole of sunburn, suffering, and a seemingly endless test of their mental and physical endurance.  As they put it, it's "The worst trip of our lives!" Duration: 18 minutes

Wide Boyz II – Slender Gentlemen: Premiere of the sequel to Wide Boyz, directed by Paul Diffley at Edinburgh based HotAches, which scooped the top two spots in our Best Climbing Film category last year for the long and short edit.  This time, Sheffield climber Tom Randall and his Peak District partner Pete Whittaker tackle the 8C graded single pitch crack 'The Cobra' in Squamish Canada.  Duration: 45 minutes

WideBoyzski: The Wide Boyz', Peak District climber Pete Whittaker and Sheffield's Tom Randall head to Poland and the Czech Republic to test their skills on the region's beautiful and impressive sandstone towers.  The only snag?  Local climbing ethics mean metal protection and chalk are out.  Pete and Tom have to get their heads round the art of using knotted ropes.  Duration: 12 minutes


Zembrocal – Back to Reunion Island: Zembrocal's World Premiere is showing as part of our lecture by climbers Caroline Ciavaldini and James Pearson.  Last year Caroline returned to Reunion Island in the middle of Indian Ocean - her childhood home where she learnt to climb - with her fellow The North Face athletes James and Sam Elias, Yuji Hirayama and Jacopo Larcher to climb 'Zembrocal', a new multi pitch, basalt route.  One of the most accomplished competition climbers in the world, after retiring from competition Caroline focussed on trad climbing and alpine multi-pitch.  (PS The name Zembrocal refers to a famous Creole dish made from mixed varied ingredients that still maintain their original identities). Duration: 32 minutes.