Rest Day Distractions - Epic Climber Series

"EpicTV invited four of the world's best climbers - Emily Harrington, Alex Megos, Hazel Findlay and Tommy Caldwell - to the birthplace of modern mountaineering, Chamonix, France, to test their skills in a challenge like no other: 4 days, 4 different routes in 4 completely different climbing styles. The climbers will try to free an unclimbed multipitch, open a secret boulder garden, climb a classic trad line on top of Aiguille du Midi and send some of the area's hardest sport routes. Tune in for the year's coolest climbing challenge!"  --Epic TV


Episode One: Tommy Caldwell and Emily Harrington Battle an Unclimbed Line on the Balme Wall

The first challenge of Epic Climber is a doozy - a 150 meter multi-pitch named 'Le Concile De Pierre.' The route climbs the Balme Wall, an impressive limestone face capped at half-height by a blank, horizontal roof. The crux pitch through the roof has never been free climbed, but is estimated to weigh in around 8c/5.14b. Tommy Caldwell teams up with Emily Harrington while Alex Megos partners with Hazel Findlay and both teams set to work. With four different styles, an unknown route, and a lot of dirty, questionable rock on the crux, it's going to be quite the day. Tommy Caldwell And Emily Harrington Battle An Unclimbed Line On The Balme Wall | Epic Climber, Ep. 1


Episode Two: Alex Megos Sends A Wild 8c Dyno Pitch

Alex Megos didn't start this climb expecting a wild sideways dyno at the crux, but after Tommy Caldwell snapped off the only usable holds on this sequence, that is exactly what he found. With Hazel Findlay having lead the pitch just below the roof, Alex is eager to get on the sharp end and find out if he can make it past the now outlandish crux. After coming painfully close on his first try, Alex knows that it is possible for him, but his impatience is almost his undoing as he tries again and again in quick succession. Hazel's suggestions of a longer rest fall on deaf ears as the German wunderkind can focus on nothing but his personal-battle with the seemingly stopper move. Alex Megos Sends A Wild 8c Dyno Pitch | Epic Climber, Ep. 2


Episode 3: The Perfect Bouldering Session Is About More Than Just The Problems

It's not every day that climbers get the opportunity to develop practically untouched bouldering areas, but on the second day of Epic Climber, that's exactly what happened. We drove Hazel Findlay, Tommy Caldwell, Alex Megos, and Emily Harrington to Passy where a stunning meadow of limestone blocs awaited them. With so many problems to choose from the climbers were like kids in a candy store, searching the boulders for four prime projects to work. From highball arêtes and technical prows to outrageous dyno challenges it was a day that celebrated the very best aspects of bouldering including the camaraderie that makes the sport so special. The Perfect Bouldering Session Is About More Than Just The Problems | Epic Climber, Ep. 3


Episode 4: Alex Megos Climbs Van De Panique (5.14b) In The Pouring Rain

Described by Adam Ondra as 'one of the best sport crags in the world' the 'Cry Baby' sector of Rawyl is characteristic of many Swiss sport climbing venues. Tall, imposing and very steep, the limestone buttress commands impressive views of Lac de Tseuzier and its surrounding hills. The climbing is practically unparalleled in the whole of Switzerland and even better for our climbers it stays (mostly) dry in the rain. While Hazel and Emily set their sights on one of the crag's classic 8a routes, Tommy and Alex turn their attention to the long, sustained 8c 'Van de Panique.' Tommy drops the onsight, but Alex, with his flair for fast ascents, steps up eagerly to try the line. Alex Megos Climbs 'Van De Panique' (8c/5.14b) In The Pouring Rain | Epic Climber, Ep. 4


Episode 5: Alex Megos Gets Taken To His Limit By An Unclimbed Project

The thing that separates truly great climbers from everyone else out there is their ability to flip the switch and give it everything they've got at a moment's notice. It's what allows the sport's top athletes to onsight routes way above the aspirations of other climbers and what makes them succeed when things come down to the wire. What happens when all of the training and all of the natural and hard-won talent that goes into making a top-level climber doesn't pay off however? In this episode of Epic Climber, we find out, as Alex Megos gives it his all on an unclimbed project at Rawyl, Switzerland, only to be defeated by both the route and time. Alex's frustration at his failure tells another story, one not of athletic prowess, but of the drive, hunger and passion that go into making him the extraordinary climber that he is. Alex Megos Gets Taken To His Limit By An Unclimbed Project | Epic Climber, Ep. 5


Episode 6: Raw Power Vs Flawless Technique In The Gym

After several days spent tearing up the local crags, today our Epic Climber team of Hazel Findlay, Alex Megos, Emily Harrington and Tommy Caldwell are heading indoors. These four climbers all have very different relationships with the climbing gym and wildly differing approaches to climbing in general. Nowhere is that more apparent than when they're all pulling on plastic together and as the group sets different projects for each other, individual strengths begin to emerge. More than that however, attitudes towards the role of indoor climbing are challenged as Alex is forced to admit that you can't simply power your way through everything at the gym and Tommy begins to see the benefits of the explosive training style of which Alex is a major proponent. A Strength Vs Technique Showdown In The Epic Climber Gym | Epic Climber, Ep. 6


Episode 7: Tommy Caldwell Digs Deep On A Slippery, Ice-Covered Crack Climb

How do you push some of the world's best climbers to their breaking points? Add ice to an already burly crack climb. The conditions might have seemed perfect as our four climbers arrive at the summit of Chamonix's Aiguille du Midi, but on the rock, the reality is very different. Melting ice has trickled its way down the classic crack climb 'Enfer du Decor' (7b+), transforming the already stout challenge into a cold, slippery nightmare. Undeterred and with teeth firmly gritted our teams abseil in to give the line their best attempt. After a hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful attempt on the route from Emily, Tommy steps up. The wet, treacherous conditions test both his determination and his climbing ability but after a hard-fought grapple with the granite splitter he makes it to the belay. While he and Emily continue to the summit by the easy, finishing pitch, Alex and Hazel get started on the route. Hazel's vast climbing experience would normally put this route easily within her reach, but the unwelcoming conditions put it just beyond her on this occasion. The pair battle their way to the summit with a combination of dogged determination and some unconventional crack climbing techniques from Alex. With the route complete and both teams stood atop the summit of Chamonix's most famous peak, only one task remains, deciding who goes home with the Epic Climber trophy. Tommy Caldwell Fights His Way Up Ice-Covered Crack Line | Epic Climber, Ep. 7