Film: “To The Limit” (2007)

3 Oct

To the Limit is a documentary about an attempt to break the speed climbing record on “The Nose” of El Capitan in Yosemite Park by two brothers, Thomas and Alexander Huber.

Ever since I knew about this film, I wanted to see it because in the early 1990s I stood at the side of the road down in the valley of Yosemite Park and stared up at the climbers on the wall of El Capitan in awe. The wall rises more than 3000 feet above the valley and normally, experienced climbers need several days to get to the top. The record the brothers set out to break stood at 2 hours and 48 minutes! So when I saw that this film was on TV this afternoon (today is a holiday here), I sat down to watch it.

I can’t say I understood all that was going on. To the Limit is not a documentary that gives a lot of background information or talks much about strategies or logistics. But then, I don’t think that is its intent. The title is to be taken rather literally, IMO, in that in some way there’s a parallel drawn between climbing/going to your limit and living your life: climbing is about going to your limit, testing and pushing it, as life should be. The film also provides a close look at two brothers who have the same passion and how that influences them and their dealings with each other.

To the Limit is a film that lives on its spectacular pictures, some of them really stomach flipping (I would like to know how they did that – nice work), and the awe at what some people can and are willing to do.

I’m still deeply impressed.

Here’s the movie trailer on

The image is from Wikipedia Commons.

The Huber brothers got the record in October, 2007. A new record was set in July, 2008 by Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds.

See this entry on Wikipedia for more background information about El Capitan and its climbing history.


2 Responses to “Film: “To The Limit” (2007)”

  1. Christine Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    This is really cool Taja. I’m surprised my husband hasn’t rented it on DVD yet. He (we) loves films like this. We were in Yosemite in 2004 and were blown away by the majesty of El Capitan. The whole park was majestic, actually. We were there in August, so hiked to the only falls that wasn’t dried up-Vernal Falls, I think. Amazing!–I’ll never forget it.

  2. Taja Monday, October 13, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    Well, I certainly think it’s worth watching for the amazing pictures; the climbing/life metaphor is a thing of liking/not liking, IMO. (I think) the film was shown in German with English subtitles at the cinema in the US, so maybe there’s no DVD?

    Yosemite – we were there in early June, I think, and we hiked up to the top of the Half Dome but we didn’t do the last part with the cable because of the weather. I still have so many vivid impression from that time (seven weeks, don’t get me going), it’s the best vacation I had (so far) and one I’ll never forget!

    I like the parenthesis for “we.” 😉

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