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CHINA DOLL - Love, Obsession and Hard Traditional Climbing with Heather Weidner

China Doll is a provocative exploration of gender stereotypes, romance, and rock climbing. Witness Heather Weidner battle personal demons in the world of hard traditional climbing. With her ascent of China Doll, a 5.14- R traditional route in Upper Dream Canyon, Colorado, U.S.A., Heather Weidner nabs the first female ascent, and becomes the fourth woman in the world to climb a 5.14 traditional route. In the process, she discovers that loving herself is the ultimate project.

This story exposes the pervasive nature of unconscious gender roles and reveals differences in how men and women approach love and sport. Heather and her husband have what many climbers would call the perfect relationship. Despite external achievements and support from her husband, Heather refuses to believe in herself. This emblematic struggle is not just about discovering personal freedom, but giving oneself permission to enjoy it. Is confidence a choice?

LT11’s director Jon Glassberg teams up with writer Caroline Treadway in this groundbreaking short film starring Heather and Chris Weidner.

  • Jon Glassberg
    Role Reversal, Golden Gate
  • Caroline Treadway
  • Heather Weidner
    Key Cast
  • Chris Weidner
    Key Cast
  • Michael Wideburg
    Original Composition
    Golden Gate, Role Reversal
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romance, Action Sports, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 2, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital UHD 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jon Glassberg

Jon Glassberg is an adventure filmmaker and photographer born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia and transplanted to Boulder, Colorado where he owns and operates Louder Than Eleven, a production company that focuses on film and photo work in the outdoor industry. Jon has been directing and shooting video since 2008 with a wide variety of projects under his belt and clients ranging from The North Face to Marmot to Black Diamond.

Jon is a passionate climber and he finds inspiration in adventure and suffering in challenging environments with passionate individuals around the world.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I originally set out to create this film, documenting my good friend Heather as she attempted to make history as the 4th woman ever to climb a 5.14a traditional climb. The route just so happened to be in our backyard of Boulder, Colorado. Two years later and with the help of a lot of talented people, the film emerged as more than just a project about hard traditional climbing, it became about insecurities, gender roles, and love.