Elevation Weekend Challenges the Boundaries Between Gravity and Risk with the Premiere of Award-Winning Film VALLEY UPRISING at 8 PM on April 25
From the network behind Planet Earth, Life, Frozen Planet, Africa and North America, Discovery Channel presents Elevation Weekend, taking viewers to rarely seen, striking destinations, following men and women on their journey to conquer the elements. A weekend of epic documentaries, Elevation Weekend documents new conflicts and obstacles as well as reflects on the history of heroic expeditions and how they inform modern explorations.
Elevation Weekend commences with the premiere of the award-winning documentary, VALLEY UPRISING, on Saturday, April 25 at 8 PM ET/PT. VALLEY UPRISING explores the stories of those who pushed the limits of what’s possible at Yosemite Valley, CA, going beyond the risk and commitment over the span of 50 years as rock climbing evolved from a group of self-reliant, bold mountain men who took months and years to scale the peaks of Half Dome and El Capitan into the sports of aid climbing, free climbing, speed climbing and freebase climbing, where both legendary peaks could be scaled in a single day, leading to today’s extreme sports that include BASE jumping.
“Elevation Weekend, an all-new annual television event, will continue to reestablish Discovery’s commitment as the destination to better understand and celebrate nature” said Rich Ross, president of Discovery Channel.
“VALLEY UPRISING will take viewers to places of tremendous natural beauty they will otherwise never experience in their lifetime,” said John Hoffman, Executive Vice President, Documentaries and Specials. “This extraordinary film tells the story of how Yosemite became ground zero for generations of rock climbers and the proving grounds for the sport’s elite.
“VALLEY UPRISING has been a seven-year passion project for us about this place we love,” said film co-creator Peter Mortimer, “And we could not be more thrilled to partner with Discovery in bringing our story to their great audience.”
Yosemite is known to many as the mecca of climbing, attracting modern climbing sensations Alex Honnold, Dean Potter and Tommy Caldwell as well as legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Jim Bridwell, Yvon Chouinard and Royal Robbins. VALLEY UPRISING explores the counter-culture sport through the stories of those who were there from the very beginning to now, as rock climbing has evolved from its origins in the free-wheeling ‘60s culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll to a modern sport that, while retaining its wild spirit, features some of our nation’s best athletes. These are not just climbers but storytellers who have called Yosemite Valley home and know every nook and cranny of its huge stone cliffs, devising every possible way to climb each one, as each generation pushed the boundaries set by its predecessors. VALLEY UPRISING was awarded the grand prize at the 2014 Banff Mountain Film Festival.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by The Film Sales Company President, Andrew Herwitz, with John Hoffman, Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials, Discovery Channel. VALLEY UPRISING was produced for Discovery Channel by Sender Films in partnership with Big Up Productions. The film was written and directed by Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen, edited by Josh Lowell and with digital graphics by Barry Thompson.
Other Elevation Weekend programming will include EVEREST AVALANCHE TRAGEDY following VALLEY UPRISING at 10PM ET/PT, providing unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts of the rescue and recovery efforts after the 2014 avalanche at Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mt. Everest base camp, which killed 13 and left three missing. The documentary will feature highly emotional and real-time footage, capturing the mobilization efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search for survivors. Through eyewitness accounts, viewers will hear from those who experienced this horrible tragedy and aftermath including sit-down interviews with those who played a critical role in the recovery efforts.
McKenzi Taylor founded Rock Climbing Women in 2013 after moving to a new city as a new climber and looking for more climbing partners.
“I got my first taste of climbing with a friend in Spearfish Canyon, SD…5 years later got a consistent partner and have been climbing ever since, even going so far as to move to a climbing destination – Red Rock Canyon! I started out all trad, all the way – with trad there is always an adventure to be had! But long moderate routes weren’t always a realistic option depending on schedules and partners, so I’ve become a lot more open to sport climbing and bouldering as well. I now spend time just getting out when I can, no matter what style of climbing it is!”