The Great Wide Open is a different climbing video than I am used to because it discusses history, culture and American identity. It speaks about the American Independence day and watching fireworks from “Devils tower“, a laccolithic butte. This is an interesting rock formation. The rock has vertical cracks that are impressive to see.
There are many aspects that I like and enjoy about this video. I like the visuals and I like the discussion of history and opportunism and passion. The segment that I like less is about death. I associate death with scuba diving rather than climbing. Recently I have watched quite a few documentaries about climbing and death. The film Sherpa and one other explored the themes both of mountain professionals and the risks they take and the other looked at climbers and the risks they take. They’re interesting topics but exploring the lives of people who live their passions is more pleasant. One person said “I think too many people live their lives, five days looking forward to the two day weekend and they don’t look forward to their life on the small amount of time we have on this earth.” That’s why I enjoy watching documentaries about this topic. For brief instants we get to dream and to aspire to new things.
There is a lot of attention in the media today about how women look and how they are perceived. The focus needs to shift away from how women look and focus instead on what they can do. Climbing news and videos are one way to achieve this goal. We see women who excel at their chosen sport and this has a positive effect. It takes us away from the superficial and presents us with the concrete. In climbing we notice women for their prowess rather than their looks and this is positive. I appreciate them for their ability to challenge and overcome their fears. I frequently climbed with someone who was afraid and I would not hesitate to do it again. Enabling others is a good quality to have.