LUNAR Forum, with Mike Jaynes

Thursday, October 24, 2019
12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Event Type
Entertainment Event
Michael J. Jaynes
English Department

What: The Lunar Forum, launch event

When: Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Where: UC Raccoon Mountain Room 

Host: M. Jaynes

Guest(s): Andrea Hassler, Executive Director of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition; Kelso Cook, SCC Outreach and Membership Intern (and UTC alum)

Film to be screened: Valley Uprising: Yosemite’s Rock Climbing Revolution

Film website with trailer: Valley Uprising Film

Affiliated group(s) website(s):                                                  

Note: All films shown will be shown with closed-captioning if possible. Also, if anyone has any need for specific physical accommodations, sign language interpreters, or other needs, please contact M. Jaynes ( and we will be happy to accommodate!

I am excited to invite everyone to the launch event of The Lunar Forum to join me and members from the Southeastern Climbers Coalition for a film and a casual discussion about rock climbing in both Chattanooga, the Southeast, and the Yosemite Valley. The climbing scene in Chattanooga is nationally prominent, and it is widely considered one of the best in the country. One of the best bouldering fields is just north of town (Stone Fort, aka Little Rock City), and --increasingly so-- students attend UTC from afar largely for the rock climbing scene.

Just last year Alex Honnold brought big-wall climbing into the national consciousness via the award-winning 2018 documentary “Free Solo.” However, long before the present explosion of climbing’s mainstream popularity, an extreme bohemian counterculture blossomed in the Yosemite Valley in the 1970s. The film “Valley Uprising: Yosemite’s Rock Climbing Revolution” explores key figures in the “Valley” from the 1970’s to present day. This film will be screened in the first session of UTC’s newest independent campus event, The Lunar Forum,  on Thursday, October 24th, from noon-3p.m. in the University Center’s Raccoon Mountain room.

After the screening, I will be in conversation with my first guests: Andrea Hassler, the Executive Director of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC), and Kelso Cook, a UTC alum and SCC Outreach & Membership Intern. SCC is a nationally prominent climbing organization operating in seven states. The informal, casual conversation will focus on climbing both in Yosemite and locally, the counterculture, and how the culture that began in the 1970s has changed trends that we see in the climbing scene both locally and nationally.

Created and presented by: M. Jaynes

Partner for this screening:

The Southeastern Climbers Coalition (

Series sponsors:

UTC English department

The UTC Honors College

UTC Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Sourdough Cuppa Joe (

The Lunar Forum
has been designated a Beyond the Classroom event. This event is eligible for Beyond the Classroom Challenge Credit.


Film Synopsis (from website): 

For the past fifty years, Yosemite’s massive cliffs have drawn explorers and madmen to leave materialism behind and venture onto the high, lonesome granite. 

The larger-than-life characters of Yosemite carved out an extreme bohemian lifestyle in the valley: living in the dirt, clashing with the National Park authorities, and pioneering the boldest climbs on earth. The torch has been passed across three generations of climbers; through rivalries, tragedies and triumphs, the art of Yosemite climbing has advanced beyond anyone’s imagination. 

Narrated by acclaimed actor Peter Sarsgaard (Garden State, Jarhead, An Education) and produced by Emmy® Award-Winning Sender Films with Big UP Productions, Valley Uprising deftly recounts the history of Yosemite’s bold tradition: half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity, and the laws of the land. 

Starring Yosemite climbing legends Dean Potter, Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill, Jim Bridwell, Royal Robbins, Warren Harding, Yvon Chouinard, John Bachar, “Chongo” Chuck and so many more… 

 Info about The Lunar Forum:

The Lunar Forum features film screenings about, and conversations with, people who live atypical lifepaths. This new event aims to bring unique stories of people, and groups of people, in front of UTC’s students. Events will largely focus on alternative living and adventuring; however, most everything is on the table. Some events will be film screenings with after-film discussions guided by the host. Other events will feature a guest in conversation with Jaynes and attendees. As some of The Lunar Forum’s guests may not be available for on-campus appearances, the series also features a podcast: The Lunar Podcast.

The Lunar Forum will take place on our campus in various locations during the early afternoon hours either on or near the full moon, whenever possible.

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Admission Free and open to the public
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