Stuck on a Portaledge: ‘The Mentor’ Film Is Emotional Climbing

Marcus Garcia is on a mission to climb a route dedicated to his late mentor — and viewers get to watch the story unfold on video.

Two climbers are stuck on a portaledge due to weather. They’ve run out of food and water, and get by eating peanut M&Ms and drinking frost. They laugh. It’s old footage of Marcus Garcia and Jimmy Forester climbing El Cap.

In the film, Garcia retells epic stories of himself and his mentor, Jimmy Ray Forester. Later on, we follow present-day Garcia as he travels down to cliffs in northern Mexico to climb in El Potrero Chico. Then it takes a dark, emotional turn.

We watch Garcia climb The Scariest Ride in the Park, the ridge route that took his mentor’s life. “[Climbing] it felt like a new life,” said Garcia.

It goes on to follow Garcia opening The Rock Lounge gym in Durango, Colorado. The film comes full circle — Garcia becomes a climbing mentor himself.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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