Steph Davis and Peter Mortimer on Davis’s solo of Pervertical Sanctuary, the subject of Mortimer’s world premier Diamonds are Forever. [Photo] Brian Kimball
Jackson, Wyoming – January 4, 2008 – The Alpinist Film Festival announced today that Steph Davis and Peter Mortimer will present the world premiere of their new short film, Diamonds Are Forever, on Stone Night, January 19, 2008, at the Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyoming. The film features world-renowned rock climber Steph Davis taking the art of free soloing to breathtaking new heights on the Diamond of Longs Peak as she becomes the first woman to solo America’s premier alpine rock wall.
On September 3, 2007, Davis, known in particular for her hard free climbs on El Capitan, realized her dream of free soloing Pervertical Sanctuary (IV 5.10c) on the Diamond, Longs Peak (14,255′) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The Diamond is one of the most revered alpine walls in North America; its 900 feet of vertical and overhanging terrain allow no passage easier than the Casual Route (IV 5.10-), which Davis had already soloed twice that season, becoming the first woman to do so. On September 13, Steph returned to repeat her free solo of Pervertical with Peter Mortimer filming.
“For me, free soloing is an expression of deep mastery and confidence, an incontrovertible statement of absolute control, as well as a surrender to a bigger realm. It requires a balance between self-confidence and deep humility,” Davis explains in an exclusive article on her accomplishments that will appear in Alpinist Issue 23. “But feeling unattached to life or death couldn’t change my ingrained, methodical approach to risk. Above all, I should have no doubt–physically or mentally–that I belonged there.”
Another person who belonged there was Peter Mortimer, arguably the most talented and accomplished filmmaker in the world of climbing. Mortimer won the grand prize at the 2006 Alpinist Film Festival with his film The Obscurist, the film’s world premiere. Mortimer also premiered the highly acclaimed First Ascent in a 2006 AFF Special Screening. Currently, he is winning unprecedented numbers of awards at Banff, Kendall, and Taos Film Festivals with his new film, King Lines, a documentary on Chris Sharma’s quest to climb the most spectacular routes in the world. The screening of Diamonds Are Forever at The Alpinist Film Festival will be its world premiere.
“I’ve been shooting climbing across the world for the last decade,” said Mortimer via email of the short film, “and filming Steph on the Diamond was the scariest thing I have ever shot, but also one of the most inspiring. She was fully committed to climb over a thousand feet with no room for error, but she remained calm and focused. This was a truly inspiring ascent that captured the spirit of cutting-edge climbing.”
“Steph is one of the best female free climbers in the world, and Peter is one of the best cinematographers,” said Alpinist Film Festival director Christian Beckwith. “To bring them both to Jackson for a world premiere is a deep and exciting honor. Our audience is going to love it.”
Davis’ husband, Dean Potter, presented Stone Night in 2007, winning the People’s Choice award with director Brad Lynch with their film The Aerialist. (Potter plans to accompany Davis to this year’s AFF.) Mortimer finished his 2006 presentation of The Obscurist a day before the Festival and flew to Jackson from his home in Boulder, Colorado, to premiere the film in person. True to form, he continued to work on Diamonds two weeks before his scheduled 2008 presentation. “If there’s anyone we have complete confidence in, it’s Peter,” said AFF producer Leslie Bahn.
The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival will feature its signature Snow, Surf and Stone nights January 17-19 at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, Wyoming. A fourth evening, The People’s Choice Ceremonies, will present the People’s Choice award-winning films from the previous three evenings at the Center for the Arts in downtown Jackson. As an official entry into the AFF, Diamonds Are Forever will be in contention for the People’s Choice Awards, the winners of which will be shown January 20 at the People’s Choice Ceremonies in Jackson Hole. Winners of the individual evenings receive a gift certificate from Patagonia worth $750. The Grand Prize winner receives an additional gift certificate worth $1,500.
Tickets for The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival are $18 for the Snow, Surf and Stone nights and $20 for the People’s Choice Ceremonies. Tickets and additional information can be found online at www.alpinist.com/film_festival. To date, every event in The Alpinist Film Festival’s three-year history has sold out.
About The Alpinist Film Festival
The Alpinist Film Festival celebrates the adventure lifestyle across disciplines and generations with three nights of film in skiing, surfing and climbing. The Festival’s mission is to advance the art of cinematographic storytelling as it underscores the unity among the adventure lifestyle communities. A portion of every year’s proceeds are donated to charities that help preserve the places of our inspiration. Because one of these places is our planet, beginning in 2008, the Festival will purchase carbon offsets to counteract its carbon footprint.
About Alpinist Magazine
Hailed by Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner as “The best climbing magazine in the world today,” Alpinist Magazine is an archival-quality, quarterly publication dedicated to world alpinism and adventure climbing. The pages of Alpinist capture the art of ascent in its most powerful manifestations, presenting an articulation of climbing and its lifestyle that matches the intensity of the pursuit itself. Alpinist has been awarded three Maggie Awards, for Best Quarterly/Consumer Division, Best Overall Design, and Best Electronic Newsletter, and was featured in a seven-page article in Outside Magazine (“The Purists”) in March 2005. The magazine’s editorial and publishing offices are based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and online at www.alpinist.com.