Again this year the Tri-Cities InterMountain Alpine Club (IMAC) is holding the Reel Rock Tour. This year, it is four short, not-to-be-missed mountain-climbing films.
Of the four, my favorite is Stone Masters. It is an historical look at counter culture climbers in the Yosemite Valley in the 1970s. They did nothing but grow their hair long and climb. It irked the park rangers and culture clashes were many. And then a plane packed with pot crashes in a remote area of the park. At that point, the climbers redefine high climbing.
The other three are more standard climbing tales. The Sensi teams 43-year-old climbing legend Yuji Hirayama with American youngster Daniel Woods. The two climb the fabled Mount Kinabalu in Borneo. Spice Girl follows British lady legend Hazel Findlay as she becomes the first woman to climb Britain's E9. She also teams with Emily Harrington to climb Taghia Gorge in Morocco.
The last film is High Tension. It follows the clash climbers Ueli Steck and Simone Moro had with native Sherpas on Mount Everest a few years ago. Most fascinating is how commercial the climb of the world's tallest mountain has become and how anyone with enough money -- experienced or not -- can make the climb.
The four segments are packed with eye-popping visuals, breathtaking scenery and hold-your-breath, sometimes frightening climbing sequences featuring some of the world's best climbers. This is stunning stuff and some of the best, and most dizzying cinematography you've seen in years.
Stars: Yuji Hirayama, Daniel Woods, Hazel Findlay, Emily Harrington, Ueli Steck, Simone Moro
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Not rated, probably PG-13 for mature themes. It plays Friday, November 15 only at 7:00 p.m. at the Battelle Auditorium.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.