The Film the Dawn Wall – El Capitan an incredible story.

Last night I watched The Dawn Wall with Yvette my stepdaughter her choice it was an incredible story and to me easily as good as the recent Mountaineering film Free Solo.

The Dawn Wall is an account Of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s climb on Yosemite’s El Capitan’s incredible Dawn Wall. The film leaves you with your heart in your mouth as they both suffer near misses. It’s a very personal journey the highs and lows for both with a huge insight into climbing at an elite level. It also for me enters a personal insight for Tommy after he was taken hostage and the difficult journey he went on.

Below El

“On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson topped out El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite Valley to a circus of friends, family, and media. Their 19-day push to complete the first free ascent of the wall cfar beyond the climbing community. But the story of their cutting-edge ascent begins long before that winter, or even the seven years that Caldwell, joined later by Jorgeson, had attempted what’s considered the hardest rock climb in history. The story of the Dawn Wall is the story of Tommy Caldwell.

The Dawn Wall, the long-awaited documentary film from Red Bull Media House and Sender Films, delivers Caldwell’s story in full, from childhood to his capture by militants in Kyrgyzstan his passion for big-wall free climbing, in which equipment is used only to catch falls. Of course, highly accomplished free climber and boulderer Jorgeson plays a central role in the film as the other half of the climbing team, but The Dawn Wall focuses heavily on Caldwell, the visionary behind the climb. Through moving interviews, the film explores Caldwell’s inspiration that led to the seven-year project. But the documentary skims over his darker motivation: a deep depression that would ultimately lead him to the greatest accomplishment of his life”.

The story is an incredible one and I enjoyed it so much. I rarely watch films but this was a great choice. I saw the incredible Yosemite again where I visited and worked with the Yosemite SAR

I was there on a Rescue on El Capitan with YOSAR team in 2008. It was some place the scale of 3000 feet of pure granite was wild. I loved my month here and this film brought so many memories back.

Rescue Expert John Dill below the Wall.

It was great to see that incredible place and these cliffs again. I never climbed on El Capitan but did on Half Dome. Yosemite is place you must visit and the land of Environmentalist John Muir. I learned so much being out there and saw the wilderness of nature and how folk struggle against it. The wild life, the waterfalls, the Trees,the flowers are incredible. It is a timeless land and one I will never forget.

I visited on early spring it was amazing to see snow still high up and only a few folk about.

How lucky are we to be able to escape into another and get the highs and lows of extreme athletes in this place .

Yosemite is a special place we owe at lot to John Muir for leading the fight to keep it that way. We can look into another world of climbing on the Dawn Wall.

Please watch it it’s impressive and see what true companionship on a rope means. It’s unique as are the two climbers.


It’s a great film, heavy and every bit as good as Free Solo. To be honest, I preferred Dawn Wall since it was a much bigger picture story with lots of interest about Tommy’s life and problems he’s had to deal with/overcome. Also brought back great memories of long trips to Yosemite in the 90s to do Salathe Wall and the Nose etc. Adrian

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Books, Enviroment, Expeditions - Alaska - Himalayas etc, Films, Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Recomended books and Guides, Views Mountaineering, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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