El Capitan a film by Fred Padula


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Trad climber
Long Beach, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 10, 2011 - 04:23pm PT
Any one have it/watch it? Here's a video about the making of it:


Pretty cool film. Watch Lynn Hill Nose in a Day after, followed by Alex Honnold free soloing Half Dome... and that about puts it all into prespective.
the Fet

Feb 10, 2011 - 05:00pm PT
Is Fred Padula an alias of Glen Denny?

Trad climber
electric lady land
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:10pm PT

the shot of the climber
with the receding moon
was amazing.

how does one get to
see the entire
ron gomez

Trad climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:11pm PT
Saw a film YEARS ago by Lito Flores on El Cap, some of that footage looks like the film. It was a great film and story.

Feb 10, 2011 - 05:17pm PT
The King Swing footage is fantastic, as are the waterfall shots.

Where can we see/buy the entire film?



Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:27pm PT
Some nice footage in that clip.

This seems to be it:


It's doesn't appear to be listed at IMDB.

A long way from where I started
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:35pm PT
I've got a copy on video tape. Love it (and should get it transferred to digital, I guess).

Showing it to young climbers just in the process of graduating from the gym to real rock, or to people too young to remember the good old hippie era, is always fun.

Trad climber
Long Beach, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2011 - 05:43pm PT
Where can we see/buy the entire film?

I bought the retail VHS tape BITD. I just dusted it off and converted it to DVD. Not sure if you can still buy it, or what the copyright laws are on posting it up...

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:46pm PT
I talked to Glenn about the moon shot and he said it was a fake, a put together shot of two different shots... Still pretty powerful stuff!

Social climber
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:52pm PT
I met Fred Padula in Banff some time in the '80's ( 84 I think ) and he was a really nice guy. Very humble that I remember.

El Captian is a great film. Captures the wall feel.........or so I recall. I haven't seen it in many years.

Glad to see it's making the rounds of new viewers.....

Trad climber
Swimming in LEB tears.
Feb 10, 2011 - 05:54pm PT
My all time favorite climbing movie.

Feb 10, 2011 - 08:27pm PT
Is that the one where there's a scene that is in total darkness with stuff bashing around with human voices and grunts, etc?
It has to be. I remember that King Swing footage. Isn't there some hammering up the Stovelegs and a hilarious scene of them chowing on canned goods with dirty paws?
Fun film. I saw it within the first couple of years I started climbing. I was scared of El Cap after that. Definitely didn't make me want to sleep up there.

Bob J.

Trad climber
e350 / Bishop
Feb 10, 2011 - 08:48pm PT

"I bought the retail VHS tape BITD. I just dusted it off and converted it to DVD."

Great idea, my VHS copy doesn't do me much good. Inspiring stuff.....
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Feb 10, 2011 - 09:07pm PT
Just found my DVD copy a couple of days ago. It is by far my favorite climbing film. Lido is a fricking crack up throughout the film. " I have you on belay now, or at least I'm paying attention now". The footage of him standing in the mail bag untied and his reaction is priceless. Those guys were badasses.

The water bottle caught in the thermal is awesome . "It's coming back up"

It truly captures the warped reality of wall climbing.

Feb 10, 2011 - 09:12pm PT
Best climbing movie ever! Wish I had a copy.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 10, 2011 - 09:18pm PT
If any of you are interested, Glen can be reached on his website: www.glendenny.com--- it has email contact, actual phone number and address as well. He is here in San Francisco.

Bronx, NY
Feb 12, 2011 - 08:15pm PT
El Capitan was shot by Glen Denny (which several posters seem to know) but he didn't have enough money to edit it. A TV network was interested but insisted that some of the language be deleted. Glen wouldn't. Lito worked on editing for a while, and finally Fred Padula put it together. I remember when Glen was filming, he had a big Ampex tape recorder (eight track, I think) at the base because he had line of sight to the miked climbers. Pretty radical for those days. I also remember seeing a 16mm print of the film, and the detail was much better than on the later videotape, and Glen's artistry really came through. There's no doubt--the film really captures the experience of big wall climbing in those days.

Boulder climber
East Side
Feb 12, 2011 - 08:19pm PT
Was this the film where the haul sack went on a sailing pendulum on the last pitch?

My stomach was in my throat just watching it!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 12, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
It was black and white; probably the only film on EC out there in B&W. Thanks for the explanation Joe on the video quality; I thought it was quite bad and always wondered about it.
The Larry

Moab, UT
Feb 12, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
"It's coming back up!"

I use that line all the time.

That movie actually changed my life.
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