Set in Stone dvd Profile of a Lakeland Rockclimber Set in Stone, the latest film available on DVD by the multi-award winning adventure filmmakers Alistair Lee and David Halsted, has all the hallmarks of becoming one of the most significant British climbing films in years. The pair shadowed arguably the world’s best traditional climber, Cumbrian Dave Birkett, for a season as he pursued his passion for climbing and making his mark in history by ascending the most difficult routes yet achieved on his beloved Lakeland crags. Nevertheless, despite his status as one of the world’s great athletes, few people are aware of the enigmatic Birkett and his stunning exploits. Set in Stone aims to change all that: the movie takes the viewer up the climbs with Birkett as he overcomes phenomenally hard and dangerous rock climbs set against sometimes heart-breakingly beautiful Lake District fellscapes. In addition to introducing the Birkett phenomenon to a general audience Set in Stone also features exciting and historically important footage which will set the pulses of climbing aficionados racing. It includes the first ascent of Return of the King (E9 6c), Dave's latest addition to Scafell's East Buttress, as well as many other modern Lakeland test pieces such as the extraordinary Nowt But Flee'in Thing (E8 6c) on Cam Crag, Wasdale Screes; a stunningly evocative line. Other highlights include the legendary If Six was Nine (E9 6c) on Lakeland’s esoteric Iron Crag; a route climbed 14 years ago and which remains one of the country’s most formidable climbs. Plus Birkett recounts how he made the hardest traditional ‘on-sight’ ascent in the world at Dove Crag: the aptly-named Fear of Failure (E8 6c). Birkett’s skill and boldness while climbing these jaw-dropping routes have been highlighted by means of innovative and advanced camera technology, including experimental boom-mounted cameras and precarious shooting positions from frighteningly exposed crags. Set in Stone is not simply an action film however. Birkett’s surprising - and engaging - self-deprecating and humorous personality has been a boon to the Burnley filmmakers, whose reputation has been built on a unique mix of spectacular cinematography and quirky comedy. Their profile also includes 'The Brief History of Birkett ': an animation which covers a 70-year long Birkett family climbing ‘dynasty’ that started with Dave’s grandfather, the cutting-edge inter-war climber Jim Birkett. Dave’s more unusual extra-mural activities - such as his unofficial role as a one-man sheep mountain rescue service - are also showcased. With its unique insight into what drives one of the boldest and most talented rock climbers in the world, Set in Stone is likely to prove an exciting film for both climbers and non-climbers alike.
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