Women at Work – a film

In summer 2010, Lorna Illingworth, Madaleine Sorkin and I spent 25 days living at the base of the southeast face of Proboscis, a sheer 2000’ granite wall in Northern Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables. Our goal was to free the original 1963 route.

Our story, as told through Women at Work, is “rough, raw and real,” according to Boulder, Colorado filmmaker Brad Clement:

In 25 minutes, this two-part film includes sick helicopter footage, helmet cam video of dripping-wet technical rock climbing 1000’ off the deck, scenic views from the summit ridge, hard work cleaning and hand-drilling bolts, and Madaleine sending 5.12 high above the clouds. Also, a dance party and a snowstorm. Interviews with first ascentionists Royal Robbins and Jim McCarthy led to inclusion of historic images.

“I was moved, informed and inspired, and, most of all, entertained,” said author and veteran climber, Dick Dorworth. “How can I get some of the music?”

All the musicians are climbers. Artists include the ravishing Jessica Kilroy and her folk/electronica band, Pterodactyl Plains; badass climbing rapper Odub; guitar-pickin’ Tim Johnson; and Bozeman, Montana’s Holler N’ Pine.

From daily camp life to granite splitters, Women at Work brings viewers into our frustrations, successes, excitement and exhaustion. As a recipient of the American Alpine Club’s Lyman-Spitzer award and the inaugural Copp-Dash award, I’m thankful to the climbing community for supporting our adventure.

– Emily Stifler


If you want more Jessica Kilroy or Pterodactyl Plains, check out jessicakilroy.com, or listen to their music on Myspace, or at last.fm/music/Pterodactyl%2520Plains?ac=pteroda

Catch Odub playing live at climbing events like the International Climbers Festival in Lander, Wyoming, or at odubmusic.com

Yogesh Simpson and Holler N’ Pine play around Bozeman. yogeshsimpson.com

Tim Johnson is working toward a Ph.D. in environmental history in Athens, Georgia. The guitar music here is from his album, the Missoula National Sessions.


Congratulations! I very much enjoyed watching your climb of the wall and the way you brought out the personalities of the climbers. Boy, that’s a big face! Congratulations again.  – Good Climbing, Royal Robbins (first ascentionist, Original Route Proboscis)

Loved the movie. Thank you. I did see a lot of smiling faces in it so I have a suggestion for an alternate title… Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.                                                                                – Jim McCarthy (first ascentionist, Original Route Proboscis)

So awesome! What an amazing experience! I enjoyed the seaplane shots as well.    – Vanessa Pierce (writer/editor/co-founder of shejumps.org)


About Emily Stifler

I grew up in Vermont and live in Bozeman, Montana. I love topography: mountains, rocks, weather and people.
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One Response to Women at Work – a film

  1. Pingback: International Women’s Day Post: Women climbers who kicked ass « Huck & Dyno

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