Bold on the Bald

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“Going bald” means many things — think Telly Savalas and Brazilian waxing. But to climbers, it means Rumbling Bald, a granite dome surrounded by boulderfields in western North Carolina. Penstock Productions’ new film, Rumbling Bald ($17.95,, showcases the mountain’s bomber blocs and local heroes. In a straightforward, nonglitzy style, it delivers beaucoup footage of folks like Robert Holcombe and Katrin Lau sending classics like Xiaolin Wonder Palm and The French Maid. By documenting the moves with didactic precision, Rumbling Bald plays like a video Beta source for some of America’s best problems. Other highlights include the Vail, Colorado, 2008 Bouldering World Cup — complete with one Frenchie’s wall-kicking freakout — and a faux “Cribs” segment on the dirtbag lifestyle (a fridge full of refried beans and a mattress on the floor), featuring Zach Lesch-huie.

—Graham Averill

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