He seemed like a man possessed, on a mission that was obviously impossible, and I had the sense that for Tommy, the idea of The Dawn Wall was about much more than the climb itself.” Josh Lowell – co-Director
In January 2015, rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson captivated the world with their effort to climb “The Dawn Wall”, a seemingly impossible almost 1000 metre rock face in Yosemite National Park, California.
The pair lived on the sheer vertical cliff for weeks, igniting a frenzy of global media attention.
But for Tommy Caldwell, The Dawn Wall was much more than just a climb. It was the culmination of a lifetime defined by overcoming obstacles. At the age of 22, the climbing prodigy was taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan. Shortly after, he lost his index finger in an accident, but resolved to come back stronger. When his marriage fell apart, he escaped the pain by fixating on the extraordinary goal of free climbing The Dawn Wall.
Blurring the line between dedication and obsession, Caldwell and his partner Jorgeson spend six years meticulously plotting and practicing their route. On the final attempt, with the world watching, Caldwell is faced with a moment of truth. Should he abandon his partner to fulfill his ultimate dream, or risk his own success for the sake of their friendship?
All of this drama, and then some, is captured in the critically acclaimed documentary THE DAWN WALL – a Red Bull Media House production in association with Sender Films, directed by Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer.
Our first foray shooting footage on The Dawn Wall was a revelation. Tommy was in the early phases of exploring the wall, searching for a line that might someday be possible, if not for him, then perhaps for future generations of climbers. He was a thousand feet up, taking huge falls, trying insane moves, like an 8 foot sideways leap through the air from hold to hold. He seemed like a man possessed, on a mission that was obviously impossible, and I had the sense that for Tommy, the idea of The Dawn Wall was about much more than the climb itself.