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New documentary shows famous climbers' 17-peak, 36-hour adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park

"CUDDLE" captures Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell's massive journey
CUDDLE_alex honnold and tommy caldwell.jpg
Posted at 10:44 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 13:49:02-05

Seventeen mountains, 35 miles and 20,000 feet of gain in Rocky Mountain National Park sounds like a fun adventure for an extraordinary week, but two famous climbers completed the route in just a day and a half, and their journey is part of a film tour premiering at the end of the month.

If you're at all familiar with the climbing world, or even if you aren't, you probably recognize the names Alex Honnold, of Las Vegas, and Tommy Caldwell, of Estes Park. In July 2020, the duo completed what Caldwell dubbed the Continental Divide Ultimate Linkup in RMNP. The CDUL — "pronounced cuddle for how we warmed up in the middle of the night," Caldwell wrote on Instagram — is a huge linkup of 17 iconic peaks in the park.

Longs Peak_east face

The documentary, appropriately called "CUDDLE," is part of a climbing film tour called Reel Rock 16, which debuts on March 24-27. It features four films. The pass costs $25 to see all four or $95 for an annual package. Once purchased, you can watch on Apple TV, Roku or your phone.

Reel Rock presents new climbing films every year in more than 40 countries.

"We produce films that celebrate the human side behind our sport’s great adventures," its website reads.

You can watch the trailer for "CUDDLE" below.

Honnold and Caldwell's journey started at Mount Meeker (13,911 feet) and went on to Longs Peak (14,255 feet), Pagoda (13,497 feet), Spearhead (12,575 feet), Chiefs Head (13,597 feet), Mount Alice (13,310 feet), Arrowhead (12,645 feet), McHenry's Peak (13,327 feet), Powell Peak (13,208 feet), Taylor Peak (13,153 feet), Petit Grepon (12,000 feet), Sharkstooth (12,630 feet), The Saber (12,000 feet), Otis Peak (12,486 feet), Hallett Peak (12,713 feet), Flattop Mountain (12,223 feet) and ended at Notchtop Mountain (12,129 feet).

In his Instagram account, Caldwell admitted they made a few mistakes along the way. They missed a support drop-off and ended up traveling through the night in shorts, using their phones under their hats as headlamps as they climbed at 13,000 feet amid howling winds.

"No food, no headlamps, no pants," Honnold said in the documentary trailer.

"I guess my wish for a character-building experience paid off," Caldwell wrote on Instagram.

In the trailer, Honnold notes that he and Caldwell have had many climbing adventures before.

"Tommy and I have done enough things together. They're all terrible or they're all amazing, depending on how you look at it," he said, smiling.

Honnold and Caldwell said the idea to climb and run CUDL came from Adam Stack, Caldwell's childhood best friend. Stack helped the duo climbers with resupplying when they missed the support drop-off.