‘Lock Down Rock Up’: First Responder Eases Pandemic Problems Through Bouldering

Winner of the Best Short and People’s Choice prizes at Kendal Mountain Festival, ‘Lock Down Rock Up’ documents a British paramedic’s use of climbing as a tool to escape and reset.

Jerome Mowat is a 31-year-old paramedic from the outskirts of London. He first fell in love with climbing half a lifetime ago, but it wasn’t until 2020 that he began to understand its full value.

As a first responder, Mowat experienced the pandemic front and center — and without much reprieve. Grueling hours, constant exposure to the virus, a revolving door of new protocols, and months of social isolation from loved ones proved exhausting. To escape the mental and physical strain of his profession, he turned to bouldering.

In the award-winning short film, Mowat recounts his experience and offers wisdom to those on the brink of burnout. “For anyone who has a stressful job: Find a place that you can escape to,” he says, “and do it as much as possible.” Mowat puts his money where his mouth is, cruising one hard Peak District boulder after another.

Runtime: 10 minutes

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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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