Best Rock Climbing Movies

These show the best rock climbing movies at their finest, and they are enjoyable to watch whether you really climb or just enjoy seeing other people climb on the big screen. The long-read email newsletter from Outside offers some of our best writing and some of our most ambitious reporting and award-winning narratives about the outdoors. 

In the year 2019, three things transpired: up became down, and the light ceased to be the fastest object in the universe. It was no surprise when a group of mountaineers, who were previously unknown outside of the shabby picnic tables at Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, strutted their stuff on that elevated platform. They even gave the impression of having bathed.

The progression of the best rock climbing movies mirrors the development of the sport itself, from the adrenaline-pumping, speed-metal-fueled movies of the early 1990s to Hollywood’s ostentatious, mountaineering-themed hyperbole of the 2000s to the recent riveting vérité films showing the world’s best athletes putting their real lives in danger. Let cruxcrush help you to guide with the best harness for your next trip, check this out!

It is beyond the point of whether any of the films listed below are considered “great” by today’s standards; yet, they are all wonderful in their unique ways. They are required to watch for everyone who even remotely considers themselves to be a climber. Observe them, paraphrase them, draw motivation from them, and, as Anderl Meier of The Eiger Sanction puts it, “we shall continue with style” as a group. The following are the best rock climbing movies of all time.

Cliffhanger (1993)

1.  Cliffhanger (1993)

The movie Cliffhanger raised the bar for how beautifully constructed nonsense can be. For instance, the fictitious actors in this action movie are regularly depicted free-soloing while outfitted with harnesses and entire racks of climbing gear. The notion of a bolt gun, which fires a bolt and hanger into the rock with the squeeze of a trigger, is the film’s most valuable contribution to the climbing community.

Climbers may now use this tool to make their lives easier. The climbing author, John Long, was the one who came up with the idea for Cliffhanger, and none other than Wolfgang Güllich, who was considered to be the finest climber in the world at the time, played the role of Sylvester Stallone’s stunt double. (It was rumored that Stallone admitted to having a fear of heights.) Ron Kauk then stepped in to finish the film’s stunts when Güllich passed away in a vehicle accident in 1992. You can watch Cliffhanger on Hulu.

Vertical Limitation (2000)

2.  Vertical Limitation (2000)

When climbers first see Vertical Limit, they laugh till they start crying because they are having so much fun. The majority of the action in the Hollywood movie takes place on K2, when everyone becomes addicted to amphetamines and subsequently begins killing one another over the limited supply of dextroamphetamine. The most impressive aspect, though, is the opening sequence, which was filmed in Monument Valley, Arizona.

When a different rope team above them completely detaches from the wall, the two main protagonists, Peter and Annie, who are siblings, are climbing with their father at the time. For no apparent reason, “We’ve got amateurs at noon, check your safety!” just before they are about to swing down. Then the father makes a whistling sound (what?).

After reaching the bottom team, the climbers who were descending ripped bolts out of the rock, leaving everyone hanging on a single cam. This pushes Peter to take drastic action and cut the chord, which ultimately results in the death of his father. You are laughing so hard that you are crying, and as you are doing so, you are thinking, “This does not operate like that at all. Nothing here operates in that manner at all. The show Vertical Limit is now airing on Starz.

The Eiger's Sanction (1975)

3. The Eiger’s Sanction (1975)

According to Alex Honnold, the climbing sequences in the movie The Eiger Sanction are among the “most accurate in all of Hollywood climbing.” Even if the storyline of this espionage thriller doesn’t make much sense and the misogyny and bigotry that were prevalent throughout the 1970s will make you grimace, at least the climbing scenes have held up well over the years.

The Navajo Council granted the film team permission to climb this remarkable and thin monolith on the condition that they remove any pitons that had been left behind by previous climbers. It is believed that Eastwood’s climb is the final one that can be done legally on this stunning structure. It seems like the beer that he and George Kennedy were drinking on top of the building must have had a fantastic flavor. Starz is where you should turn to view “The Eiger Sanction.”

Torn (2022)

4. Torn (2022)

Although it is difficult to call Torn, which Max Lowe, a climbing movie, directed, it does merit a spot on this list because it does a better job than any of the others on this list at capturing the emotional destruction that is caused when a loved one dies. Max’s father, Alex Lowe, was murdered in an avalanche that occurred on Shishapangma in Tibet in 1999. His climbing companion, Conrad Anker, was fortunate enough to escape unharmed.

Alex was regarded as the finest climber in the world overall, and tales of his legendary stoke and superhuman achievements gave him the stature of a hero. After his passing, the climbing community was left in shambles, and three young boys were orphaned. Max, who is now an adult, has embarked on the production of a documentary about the death of his father, the bones of which were discovered in a glacier in the year 2016. In the course of doing so, he realizes that it is a way to find healing. You can watch this movie on Disney+.


The following films are considered to be the best rock climbing movies of all time. They should keep an eye out for anyone who even faintly believes they could be climbing something. There is no such thing as a “great” film, yet all of these films are magnificent in their special ways. The climbing world first became familiar with the concept of a bolt gun thanks to John Long’s Cliffhanger.

The movie “Vertical Limit” by Ron Kauk was filmed at Monument Valley, which is located in Arizona. Max Lowe’s film Torn, which is directed, does a better job than any of the others at expressing the emotional devastation that is produced when a loved one passes away than any of the others.

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