Sabrina Chapman didn’t start climbing in childhood — not even close. But now she’s one of the top female and Black elite climbers in the sport.
Female climbers have been making huge bounds in the sport in recent years. The sport’s gender gap is shrinking. The popularity of climbing and accessibility of climbing gyms has helped to diversify the sport. However, there’s still a lack of representation of minorities, especially Black people, in climbing.
With the help of Kickstarter backers, Melanin Base Camp has produced one of the first major films about a Black female sport climber, Sabrina Chapman. Chapman, a Canadian sport climber with African and Indian heritage, didn’t begin climbing until the age of 26 and has never worked with a coach, yet she quickly excelled in the sport.
In the Titan Project, we follow her on her mission to send her first 5.14a — the threshold for elite climbing. But the film is about so much more than conquering a grade. It’s raw, personal, and delves into the perspective of how one person can impact a sport.
The film is named after the climb Chapman attempts, the Titan route in Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario. (Note: The route is located on Saugeen Ojibway Nation land. The team was unable to get a permit to film on these lands. However, the film showcases Chapman climbing on a host of other routes with difficult grades.)