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Original Issue

High Climbs

An hour into Return2Sender, climber Michael Reardon shows you the real meaning of crack climbing. The David Lee Roth look-alike scrambles up a route in Joshua Tree National Park with no rope, no gear and no clothes. "Soloing naked, man, it's just a jackass stunt that sets the bar," he says. Reardon's antics provide some of the better moments of Peter Mortimer's gritty, uneven rock-climbing video. The majority of the 90-minute Return2Sender (Axolotl Productions, $30) is spent documenting climbers slowly jamming their fists and feet into long, vertical cracks at Indian Creek, Utah. The video's coolest shot captures climber Timmy O'Neill, with no protection other than a safety harness, walking across a climbing rope between two spires several hundred feet above the desert floor. Thanks to a point-of-view camera, you see O'Neill try to steady the rope with one foot. The high-wire act is a rush.