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Stone Local’s – Patagonia’s Labour of Love

Patagonia's feature-length film surrounding the history and future of climbing and what it means to the world's community leaders.

It is self-conscious. This last decade has seen a transformation in climbing. It has taken its popularity with a mixture of emotions as the community ushers in a new generation of enthusiasts born from gym climbing. On August 27, Patagonia launched the premiere of their feature-length film Stone Locals.

Kathy Karlo jamming on Celestial Mechanics

To people that have been climbing for decades, the popularization of their on-the-fringe pass-time has come as a shock. Quiet crags and multi-year projects have been filled with high-octane competition from a fast-moving indoor scene. The commercialization of climbing in gyms and their related products have been a great boon to the industry, but at the cost of essential climbing education.

The film addresses this changing state with a respect for climbing’s ancestry and an optimistic look toward climbing’s future. The film follows community leaders from around the world, each describing what climbing has meant to them over the course of their lives.

The film discusses the importance of inclusivity as a social change that must occur in the sport. It also reminds audiences of the risks associated with outdoor climbing while promoting the beauty of overcoming challenges through trust and community. As climbing moves from misfits to the modern era, key-values from climbing’s past are re-established to ensure the communication of the sport’s best properties.

Perhaps the best produced climbing film of the year, the emotionally charged, hour-long feature embodies many of the best aspects of rock climbing. It is a must watch for any climber seeking to better understand the sport, and is followed by a Q and A with some of the film’s featured climbers, as well as both directors.

The cycling stories follow The Keithley Family on their journey to educate climbers, Daniel Pohl and the merging of his life with climbing and his protection of the environment, Katsuka Yokoyama and his balance of risk and family, Kathy Karlo and her work with her podcast For the Love of Climbing, an interview with Brandon Belcher, as well as the healing properties off-widthing. Finally, Miguel’s Pizza’s Dario Ventura’s multigenerational relationship with climbers and the victories built out of community support.

This film is a must watch.