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Sierra Magazine

Sierra's July/August 2004
Let's Talk film selection

Vertical Frontier

A Kristi Denton Cohen/Peloton Productions film in association with Sierra Club Productions, narrated by Tom Brokaw

Discussion questions

  • Did you enjoy the film? Why or why not? Do you think a person needs to have some rock-climbing experience to be interested in the tales told here? Are there some aspects of the story that are more universal?
  • How is big-wall rock climbing different from other extreme sports?
  • How did early Yosemite climbers view nature? Were they at home there? Were they out to conquer nature, or to develop closer links to it?
  • How have Yosemite climbers' attitudes toward nature changed over time?
  • What about your own relationship to nature? Do you see yourself as a conqueror or an admirer or just another part of the ecosystem? Have your views changed over your lifetime?
  • If you had known about the campaign to save Camp 4, would you have joined in? Why or why not?
  • Which of the climbers profiled do you find most admirable? Which of the climbs would you have most liked to have been part of? Which were most inspiring to you?
  • After watching this film, how would you answer the classic question: Why do climbers climb?

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