• Nikki

Review of REEL ROCK 14

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

In partnership with Eden Rock, we were delighted to host Reel Rock 14 this week, to a full house in their newly converted theatre. The theatre comfortably seats 70 people on the first floor at the back of the second bouldering hall. The screen and acoustics are great and I hope this is the first of many screenings and presentations to come.

Eden Rock generously donated a chunk of the proceeds from the first screening to Urban Uprising, so thank you to everyone who bought tickets, you are helping Urban Uprising share the benefits of climbing with young people who might not otherwise get the chance.

Urban Uprising Ambassador Niall McNair getting ready to introduce Urban Uprising and Reel Rock 14

For me, this year’s Reel Rock production was epic, inspirational and, at times, hilarious. I came away absolutely psyched. But it was also balanced with a gentle sense of responsibility. Yes you see Tommy Caldwell take a 100’ whipper, but after insisting on placing a time-sapping but crucial cam. And yes you see Nina Williams bouldering on monster 50’ highballs, but you also see her extensive preparation and rehearsals. And yes, United States of Joe’s is a story about anarchic boulderers, but it’s a brilliant story of humanity.

Reel Rock 14 opens with The High Road, featuring 20 terrifying minutes of Nina Williams doing what no other woman has done before on the highest, most difficult boulder problems ever climbed.

Nina Williams well into the no-fall zone on her successful ascent of Too Big to Flail (Courtesy photo / Brett Lowell)

Nina quickly rose to fame in the bouldering world, and I first heard about her in 2017 after she became the first female to send Ambrosia, an iconic 50 foot V11 on the largest boulder in the Buttermilks, near Bishop, California. She talks about how she got into highballs “...because they’re dangerous and exciting. It requires a different skill set… The point is to achieve that perfect flow state, but in order to achieve it, you have to go through the jarring, erratic uncertainties first.”