The legendary Masters of Stone is back in all it’s in all its over-dramatic, lycra-clad glory – and we’ve got the entire six-film series on SteepEdge.
“Every climber steps into the ring with two opponents: gravity and his own limitations.”
[Rocket fires. A denim-clad John Bachar launches in to a clifftop saxophone solo]
“Climbing’s a game and everyone plays by a different set of rules. Some take it easy and, some take it hard, but everyone plays to win.”
[Rocket screams through the sky. Man with mullet throws for a hold. Rock music blasts.]
“Nobody sane becomes a climber. Climbing is sore fingers, shredded hands and the mental pain of failing again and again until you succeed or walk away in disgust.”
When the first Masters of Stone film hit screens in 1991, its pace, psyche and quick-change ‘chapter’ style were like nothing that had come before and set a tone that climbing films have been following ever since. A pumping soundtrack, dramatic commentary and constant high-level action raised viewer’s heartbeats way above anything they’d seen before. The sweaty-palm era of climbing films had begun.
Looking back now, the mullets, lycra and over-dramatisation of the early films might seem a little cheesy, but the climbing isn’t. Hard climbing is hard climbing no matter what you’re wearing and the films are shot through with a sense of fun and a level of psyche that makes them hugely entertaining and watchable.
Right from the start, director and Emmy award winning cameraman Eric Perlman set out to show what the best climbers in the world could do. He started off with Ron Kauk, John Bachar and Todd Skinner and over the course of many great films featured many more of the world’s top climbers, such as Dean Potter, Steph Davis, Alex Honnold and Kevin Jorgeson. From speed soloing on El Cap, 5.14c redpoints and explosive bouldering to mind-blowing rope jumps and gladiator-style deep-water soloing, the films are packed with fast-paced action.
The first in the series, Masters of Stone 1 features almost an hour of hard rock action in the USA. With no filler, this is all action rock climbing at its best, with an all-star cast, including Ron Kauk, John Bachar, Peter Croft, Dan Osman, Todd Skinner and more, climbing some of the hardest rock routes of the time.
From the overhangs of Rifle, Colorado to the desert boulders of southern Baja, from the towering walls of Yosemite to the wilderness pillars of Nevada, Masters of Stone 2 – Hard Rock takes us on an odyssey of adventure climbing to the cutting edge of the sport: Dan Osman’s death-defying unroped solos and hideous climbing falls, Hidetaka Suzuki’s free ascent of El Capitan’s 3000-foot-high Salathé headwall, Ron Kauk’s explosive boulder gymnastics and Rick Lovelace’s speed-solo ultra-marathons where each move puts his life on the line – these are just a few of the stunning performances in this classic.
Features non-stop climbing action from the cutting edge of the sport. America’s toughest boulder problems at Hueco Tanks and Yosemite. 5.14c redpoints at the hottest climbing cliffs in southern France. Zone 3 soloing. Women’s climbing. Mega free-climbing. Training tips from the best. Freeway climbing. Bandaloop cliff dancing. Live body rope testing with 100+ foot falls. Starring Ron Kauk, Dan Osman, Todd Skinner, Fred Nicole, JB Tribout and lots more.
A perfect mix of the old and new: Ron Kauk and John Bachar cranking out 5.14 and 5.12 routes, Dan Osman at his heart-stopping best and Chris Sharma and Katie brown busting out the 5.13s. Oh, and Tommy Caldwell, JB Tribout, a load of BASE jumping and the ‘Masters of Steel’… Dan Osman is also back in action with crazy speed soloing (it has to be seen to be believed!).
Released in 2000, Masters of Stone 5
Features Dean Potter speed climbing on El Cap and attempting record-breaking high-lines. Steph Davis free-soloing 5.12 cracks in the desert and blind climber Erik Weihenmayer trad climbing (watching Eric give paraplegic Mark Wellman a piggy-back to the crag tells you a lot about these guys). All finished off a superb and mind-bogglingly-crazy tribute to Dan Osman. This is not a film to miss.
No Lycra here – this is bang up to date and a great watch, with Yuji Hirayama and Hans Florine setting a new speed record on the Nose of El Cap, Kevin Jorgeson highball bouldering at Lake Tahoe and Sean Jones on Half Dome. Mix that with BASE jumping way too close to the ground, parkour on rock, free-soloing, ALEX HONNOLD, roped free-falling and much more and you’ve got another classic film from Eric Perlman!
Watched Masters of Stone? Got incredibly psyched, gone out climbing until your fingers bled and now need something else to watch? Don’t forget that SteepEdge is host to the world’s best climbing films – both old and new. We’ve got recent hits such as Life on Hold and Al Lee’s Autana and an extensive back catalogue of films, such as Everest The Hard Way, Kukuczka and the absolute classic Stone Love. There’s also the Free Movies section for ‘bite-size psyche’. We keep up-to-date with the latest goings on, and the most random creative outputs. We recommend you waste your lunchbreaks here…