Episode 5: Sauce Night — What We Talk About When We Talk About Climbing Movies

I was living in South Korea, teaching English during the weekdays and feverishly putting up FAs with a tight crew of expats during the weekends, when I first saw Sender Film’s Pilgrimage. The film follows Chris Sharma, Katie Brown, and Nate Gold as they peruse the granite eggs dotting acre upon acre in Hampi, India. Sipping my Hite beer at night, I would watch it on repeat, mouth agape, heart quickening, annoying my non-climber roomie in some shithole apartment in an industrial enclave of Incheon.

Dreams of climbing in Hampi finally gave way to planning. After a bit of salesmanship, I’d gathered a crew of six for a month-long foray into the land of the Vijyanagara Empire. Outside of shattering my tibia with five days to go, Hampi gave us adventure in spades, from leaping over king cobras to death highballs to the slow, colorful river life on the banks of the Tungabhadra.

Pilgrimage made all of this possible. Ignoring the dangers of hyperbole, Pilgrimage changed all of our lives.

Thundercling’s first Sauce Night crashes into your ears as an homage to the dreams and aspirations we cull from climbing vids, from the rough and tumble Free Hueco to the finely-crafted character sketches of Free Solo and The Dawn Wall. We abuse our climbing movies. We steal beta. We foment dreams. West Coast Pimp sent me to Bishop, CA for the first time in 2001. Reel Rock hosting duties for the immaculate Valley Uprising demanded my first trip to Yosemite (where I broke another leg — YAY!). Climbing movies are vessels into which we tuck our dreams and set them a sail into the barely known. For many of us, they are the pyres upon which our ambitions burn.

Lynn and Travis, 30 years of climbing and movie drooling between them, join Fidi and I for this round-table on climbing movies, which vids cut the deepest, and an investigation into how to destroy our livers during a single one-hour podcast segment.

Crack a libation and enjoy our inaugural Sauce Night!

Have some bones to pick with our movie selections? Want to pen an essay for Thundercling? Have an idea for the next Sauce Night? Get a hold of us anytime at thunderclingpodcast@gmail.com! We read and respond to every email we receive.

Thanks as always to the lovely Ryne Doughty for the crusher tunes.

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