Love, A Vue

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posingproductions.com

posingproductions.com

No climbers were (permanently) injured during the making of this film. Such should be the disclaimer for Alastair Lee's new UK-based frightfest Onsight (£19.99, posingproductions.com), a straightforward look at the eponymous niche in our sport. We all climb onsight, at various levels, and we all know the fear - the sweats, the heavy breathing, the runouts, the doubt that leading a route without Beta or rehearsal conjure. In picked-over Britain, the onsight is an art form and a statement. (As John Redhead says in the film, “It nourishes the soul.”)

Here, Lee treats us to raw, pure, clean footage of the usual bold cast of characters: Dave Birkett styling an E8 arête; Neil Dickson spending hours on the Redhead horrorshow Margins of the Mind, a no-falls E8 at Llanberis; Dickson again ice-cold steady on the complete-death The Bells, The Bells, thin face at Gogarth; whippers on skyhooks; and most notably, Irish radster Ricky Bell making a ground-up FA at the sea cliffs of Fairhead, repeatedly whiffing a sideways lunge over a giant roof, to take violent, 50-foot slammers into a corner below. As Bell puts it, he likes the onsight style because you “Don't cheat the route, basically. But, more importantly, you don't cheat yourself.”