RunOut #1: What’s Your Dawn Wall (Movie)?

Today’s topic is The Dawn Wall Movie.

The film premiered way back in March at the SXSW festival in Austin Texas. By most accounts, those folks lucky enough to be in attendance were awestruck.

But then the movie just disappeared.

Its almost feels like yesterday, but its been over three years since Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the FFA of the Dawn Wall route on El Capitan in Yosemite. The ascent was as famous among climbers for its audacity and difficulty as it was infamous for the media circus that surrounded the climb. The mainstream media interest in the final ascent was unprecedented, but the climbing community had been witnessing a struggle lasting 7 years.

In the intervening 3 years since the climb, the mainstream media has largely moved on from the story, while in the climbing community, “What’s your dawn wall” became something of a meme – first inspirational and now solidly satirical, though no love has been lost for Tommy and Kevin. Tommy, in particular, has stayed in the spotlight and recently cracked the 2 hour barrier on the Nose with Alex Honnold.

Also, the Dawn Wall saw a relatively drama-free and quick 2nd ascent by Czech phenom Adam Ondra. Something the mainstream media completely ignored. In fact, the US climbing media seemed somewhat nonplussed despite the fact that Ondra deigned to even practice much in Yosemite before dispatching the route in what amounts to much better style than the 1st ascent. Go figure.

So what happened to the Dawn wall movie after its premier in March? It traveled to couple festivals we’ve never heard of on the two coasts and then a screening for industry insiders at Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Denver, Colorado. Not a peep otherwise.

Josh Lowell and collaborators are keeping their cards close to their chests about its wider release, though rumor has it, the public might see it this fall. Nevertheless, our own industry insider, Andrew Bisharat, was at the premier in Austin and feels its hot time for a review of the film.

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