This adventure sport documentary follows one of the UK's top climbers Leo Houlding as he revisits his 10 year project; The Prophet, an exceptionally steep, loose and difficult route on the east face of Yosemite's El Capitan. Leo describes the route as "the wildest climb I've ever been on." This has to be seen to be believed.
Five DETERMINED Stars! "The Prophet" is a film detailing parts of the 'free climb' of that eponymous route on the southeast buttress of El Capitan in Yosemite over a 9-year period as two of Britain's first-rate big wall climbers, Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles, attempted their conquest of the route, pitch by pitch, over that time period. Obviously, this was not an 'on sight' climb as footage shows the route was inspected by 'top roping' and points of aid were pre-installed, ostensibly beyond the cruxes. But the climbing is hair-raising, edge of the seat stuff, liberally laced with profanity. In 2001, they got halfway up and they were hooked on solving it, traveling back and forth from Britain. Nine years later, they returned to finish this "futuristic" 14 pitch climb, only to be foiled by an A1/13D, E87A-rated monster pitch. But there was more to come. Much of the film shows the hardest pitches. Overall 5-13b, F8b, 33 (Aus/NZ). Some may quibble at the way they 'sliced and diced' this route by top roped inspections and defeating individual pitches, non-Alpine style, like a jig-saw puzzle, but in the end they free climbed it, alpine style, in one push. (The two-minute "June 2009" clip is repeated but that is only a minor nuisance.) An Alastair Lee film. Highly Recommended. Five WHITE-KNUCKLED Stars! (Posing Productions. II-Berhas. Rock and Ice BMC. Color. CC. "Viewer discretion" (basically PG-13) is advised for strong language and perhaps some of the hair-raising falls. Time-47:41.)
I have lived and climbed next to some of these guys. Alex Honnold being my favorite to date (but this isn't about Alex). Having said that, after watching Leo work this route with tenacity, .. again and again while keeping ti fun and mellow... I'd really recommend more people learn Leo's demeanor and ethos when it comes to climbing.
The Prophet is EPIC for sure but the man who envisioned it, cleaned it, sent it is something else. We have all heard of Chris Sharma and Tommy Caldwell but WE HAVE NOT HEARD ENOUGH of Leo Holding who has made a legitimate claim to be an elite in the circle of elites.
Well done Leo and Jason a HARD FOUGHT push and a rewarding conclusion. I would have paid money to hear your thoughts to each other on the way back to the U.K. after the FA .. the single push F.A. that made it official.
If you love climbing then watch this video to get an APPRECIATION for the work involved.
The Prophet is the name given to a certain part of the routes up El Capitan. They are trying to climb up using the free technique and falls are caught with rope as belay. It is a good story and I enjoyed watching.