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First Ascent Headed to American Television

Submitted by admin on 2010-11-02

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The Travel Channel has picked up ground-breaking documentary series "First Ascent" for U.S. television from adventure filmmakers Sender Films, marking the first series dedicated to rock climbing ever to be aired on U.S. television.

"First Ascent" will begin airing on The Travel Channel (95 million homes) on November 4 at 9 p.m. EST (7-9 MT) as four back-to-back episodes in a two-hour block, then will repeat immediately after. The entire six-episode series will be regularly scheduled through the remainder of 2010 and into next year.

A co-production with Sender Films and National Geographic International, "First Ascent" includes six wild episodes that tell the stories from the cutting edge of climbing. These episodes include Alex Honnold’s mind-blowing free-solo of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Dean Potter’s latest and wildest attempts to merge climbing and BASE jumping, and the tragic tale of Jonny Copp and Micah Dash’s final expedition to the big mountains of China.

"The series is our proudest achievement yet, a culmination of years of production, with story-telling and cinematography that take our work to a new level," said Nick Rosen of Sender Films. "It’s also the first of its kind to be broadcast on television worldwide."

According to Cathryn Garland, The Travel Channel’s Head of Acquisitions, “‘First Ascent’ is one of the most visually stunning, jaw-dropping adventure-travel series we’ve ever seen. We knew we had to have it.”

"First Ascent" has already aired in over 100 countries around the world, including on National Geographic Channels in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, BBC in Scandinavia, and Red Bull Media in Germany.

Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen of Sender Films will be appearing on Last Call with Carson Daly on late Wednesday night, Nov 3, to promote the airing with a behind the scenes look at the "First Ascent" series. The complete First Ascent Series DVD Box Set is available at

About Sender Films: Sender Films is an award winning production company that creates world-renowned climbing/mountaineering and adventure sports films. The company balances action with story-telling, and spectacular footage with compelling characters to create critically acclaimed documentaries. Popular films such as The Sharp End and King Lines have sold tens of thousands of copies worldwide, garnered numerous international film festival awards, won a sports Emmy, and been hailed as ground-breaking films of their genre. Over the past couple years, Sender Films has produced the six-part series "First Ascent" with National Geographic International, as well as creating adventure film segments for US TV networks such as NBC, The Weather Channel, and Outside TV. Their shows have been met with critical and ratings successes, helping to prove that audiences are hungry for the emerging genre of cutting-edge climbing and adventure-sports content.

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Yeah, this didn't get beaten by a post on the forums. Ha.
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Great for Sender Films. Keep up the good work!
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5 out of 5 stars yes!
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Great Series!! I hope it gets rerun like Seinfeld!
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5 out of 5 stars This was a really great watch! I forgot that Jonny, Micha and Wade were going to be in this series (RIP). The whole thing is well done even though they could have easily spent an hour or more on each segment.
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too bad travel channel website has no info on this or airtims for the rest of the episodes.
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Whats the deal with the other 2 episodes! I was so pumped to hear they were finally going to air this in the US. (not sure why the Travel channel picked it up, they are more of a food and wine channel IMO). Are they planning on showing the last 2 episodes of this series, since the travel channel is re running the hell out of the 4 that aired originally? Anyone know if they will show the remaining 2 episodes, or were they canned to keep it to 2 hours?

Also I want to give more un-asked for opinions on these since that is what is all about. :) The only 2 episodes that really gripped me was the Micha, Jonny, and Wade episode and the Hannold Freesolo. The Dean Potter and Sharma ones felt like I was re-watching the sharp end and progression (right movies?). It might be my bad memory, but it looked like they were just re airing parts of the movies with no new footage or story. Maybe the half dome free solo and homage to J,M,W episodes were from already released movies as well that I never saw, but the Jumbo Love and Freebase footage felt like they were just clips from older movies.

Lastly, my high respect for Jonny, Micha, and Wade was brought to a whole new level when I learned that they had traveled all that way to China, assesed the proposed climb, and determined it unsafe to climb and was getting ready to leave when the mountain took them. It takes a lot of balls to climb those remote big walls, and even more to decide to leave after all that planning, money, and hard work that they already invested. It's ironic the mountain still did not allow them to leave... RIP.
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Does anyone have any idea when it will come on again? I'd rather not shell out the skrill for the box set without first seeing some of it on TV. Travel Channel seems to be going out of its way to make the First Ascent schedule impossible to find.

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