Progression Obsession


If a form of Tourette’s exists in which you repeatedly yell, “Holy cannoli!”, then I contracted it watching Progression ($19.95 for HD download, $29.95 for the DVD;, Big UP’s latest. It spotlights, with expert cinematography, today’s A-listers — Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, Kevin Jorgeson, Matt Segal, Chris Sharma, Patxi Usobiaga, etc. — in the realms of sport, comp, big walls, highballs, headpoints, and more. To say these trailblazers are “raising the bar” would be misleading — they’re javelin-tossing it into the stratosphere. Take, for example, Sharma dynoing to mono pockets twice in a row on his 250- foot, 5.15b Jumbo Love; Patxi Usobiaga training for 30 days straight; or Tommy Caldwell oozing up 5.13+ El Cap corners. With a lively narrative that humanizes these heroes, Progression leaves you breathless as well as wondering: what’s next?

—Kristin Bjornsen