BRIT ROCK 2019: CLIMBING BLIND

The Brit Rock Film Tour has a well-deserved reputation as being the sounding board for all the best new climbing films from the UK’s top adventure filmmakers, featuring some of the country’s most popular climbers.  Montane have teamed up with Brit Rock to sponsor this years’ tour, building its pedigree by also supporting the headline film – part of a stunning line up of compelling stories from the vertical world. 

A documentary of Jesse Duftons’ world-first blind lead of the Old Man of Hoy, culminating at 22:10 on 4th June when Jesse and sighted partner Molly Thompson made history. Jesse was the first blind person to lead the 450ft Old Red Sandstone seastack.

The film – supported by Montane – documents Jesses’ year-long campaign to achieve this world first, serving as a billet doux to the grit that is a central tenet of British Rock Climbing, exemplified by Jesse’s resolve and immense capability.

“I’ve never seen him searching around for holds so much, holding himself in strenuous positions as the obvious footholds sat quietly unused and all the sand on the holds. It must have felt pretty insecure to say the least.  But on he battled, and what a glorious ascent it was.  Staggering.”

Alastair Lee, Posing Productions & Brit Rock Film Tour

CLIMBING BLIND

The climbing film set for as big an impact as its story. A 60 mins documentary directed and produced by Alastair Lee, in association with Montane. Jesse Dufton was born with 20% central vision. At four years of age Jesse was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa: a rare genetic disease that breaks down the retinas’ cells. At aged 20 Jesse could no longer read, by the time he was 30 his vision was reduced to just light perception with around 1 or 2 % field of view. A life long climber, Jesse can more than hold his own, both lead-climbing classic routes that would challenge fully sighted climbers with his sight guide and fiancee Molly, to competing in world cup events (4th in 2019). As his sight degenerates his climbing continues to make remarkable progress. Despite his condition, Jesse only takes on bigger challenges by attempting to be the first blind person to make a ‘non-sight’ lead of the iconic Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Scotland.