Screening on Thursday 10 Jun – 7:00 PM

Climbing Blind


Jesse Dufton is a climber and visually impaired. In 2019, the protagonist climbed the iconic Old Man of Hoy in Scotland, a rocky tower overlooking the sea, a true symbol of inaccessibility. Lead climbing on such terrain means managing your belay, setting protection points and exposing yourself to a significant risk of falling. Never before has a visually impaired person succeeded in such a challenge. The film Climbing Blind tells the story of Jesse’s quest, how the child slowly lost his sight and how climbing offered him an unsuspected terrain of freedom and commitment.

Jesse took his first steps as a climber with his father at the age of two and a half. As a teenager, with his eyesight inexorably failing, he continued to climb with passion, adapting his technique to focus on touch. As an adult, when night covered him, his wife Molly, became his guide on their climbs. 

Today Jesse climbs almost every day, on artificial walls, where he is very autonomous, as well as on rock, on which his hands fumble for holds. But when he decided to take on the Old Man of Hoy, with the intention of climbing it in the lead, no one thought it possible.

Leo Houlding, an expert mountaineer and friend of Jesse, helped him to make this dream possible. He intervenes in this film to highlight the stakes and dangers of this ascent. With a lot of emotion, Jesse tells how climbing helped him to live his handicap. What he lost in vision, he gained in pleasure of climbing.

In the magnificent and wild scenery of the Scottish coasts, Jesse invites us into his universe and transmits a universal message: “I’m not disabled, I’m blind and able”.

The choice of the festival

What a film! And what a temperament! First of all, there is the fabulous scenery of the Old Man of Hoy, the shock of these wild coasts of Scotland, unknown to the European climbers. Jesse appears, this landscape he cannot see, but he feels it, deep inside him. He puts his hands on the rock and reads its relief, as a blind reader would read Braille, and he perceives the holds, places himself, progresses, with an incredible serenity. Jesse’s testimony, collected by Alastair Lee, is an emotional shock. An unforgettable film.
  • Director

    Alastair Lee
  • With

    Jesse Dufton
  • Duration

    57 minutes
  • Country

  • Release date


The projection

  • Screening date

    Thursday 10 June – 19:00
  • Place of screening

    Cinéma Vox Chamonix
  • In the presence of

    Jesse Dufton

Ticketing info

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