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The Rocky Mountain Trilogy is a triumvirate of 5.14 walls in the Canadian Rockies. When Sasha DiGiulian set her sights on becoming the first woman—and second person ever—to complete the Trilogy, she got more than she bargained for.
DiGiulian is a professional climber and an accomplished one at that, so what makes the Trilogy such a challenge? The three climbs on Castle Mountain, Mt. Louis, and Mt. Yamnuska combine 9,000 vertical feet with 5.14 pitches, iffy weather, and remote access. Simply put, this isn’t an objective most climbers would ever consider if they aren’t Oscar-winning documentary filmmakers or don’t have names that rhyme with Blalex Fonnold. Luckily for the rest of us, DiGiulian made The Trilogy.
With no true film crew, The Trilogy is mostly shot on GoPros. This enables a first hand account of the journey and there’s no slick production to sugarcoat it. The visual diary style effectively and palpably communicates all of what DiGiulian feels: The fear, relief, uncertainty, drive, frustration, reticence, and ultimately, elation.
Of course, the climbs are the main attraction. Watching DiGiulian scout, set, and climb these monstrosities over the course of several months is worth the price of admission, but underpinning the whole enterprise is a much more personal story.
DiGiulian originally sets out solo, with no crew or climbing partner. As the Trilogy progresses, you see changes in how she follows her instincts and learns to trust new people; you see her grasp the value of letting herself be vulnerable. As she develops camaraderie with a new, tight community, you understand that she finds more than just climbs to conquer deep in the backcountry of Alberta. She finds a family.
The Trilogy is oddly relatable. Sure, average Joes and Janes aren’t conquering mile high spires or dangling off sheer faces. But we’ve all struggled with self confidence; we’ve all felt lost and alone. Watching DiGiulian overcome these obstacles on the way to her goal is an emotionally satisfying journey. Oh, and the climbing is pretty spectacular, too.