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Project Breakthrough


by Alexander Rohr

The documentary tells the story of how the Swiss climber Alexander Rohr breaks the 9a barrier with three top-level challenges: “The Change” (9a+/b — first pitch) on Flatanger, “La Castagne” (9a+), and “Eagle 4” (9b), both on Saint Léger du Ventoux.

Alexander “Alex” Rohr is a scientist in his approach to climbing. He performs at the highest level thanks to a talent with few equals in the world and an almost obsessive attention to detail, which leads him to dedicate up to six hours a day, after work, to practicing moves in his local gym. This is how, despite not starting climbing until age 17, he managed to climb 8a after just six months and repeat his first 8b+ less than a year after his first double-rope ascent. The first years of Alex’s career demonstrated continuous improvement as he pursued ever higher degrees of difficulty, up to 9a (“Jungle Speed,” 2018).
But even someone that successful sometimes has to deal with plateaus. To push himself beyond his limits again, Alex must exchange his role as an athlete for his role as a human. Go the opposite direction, get to know himself better, facing his insecurities and finding the perfect balance between serenity and anger, between concentration and determination.

Project Breakthrough-La Castagne
Project Breakthrough-The Change
Project Breakthrough-Eagle 4

“Project Breakthrough” is an original documentary. An inspiration to those who are experiencing their own plateau, something of a guide for those who will soon cross it. Ultimately, we are all Alex, and Alex is all of us. To achieve progress, we must first appreciate the process that leads to it. Fail. Try again and maybe fail again. Any result we achieve then has the flavor of added awareness.
Alex’s progress leads him to focus on the moments preceding the climb, to challenge himself on walls that are not in line with his characteristics or in difficult conditions, to appreciate small advances. To accept the outcome of an attempt beforehand, regardless.



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