Showing posts with label Mt. Meru. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mt. Meru. Show all posts

Video: Jimmy Chin Talks Risk and Responsibility in Climbing

Last week I posted a video from the Nat Geo Live series that feature photographer/climber Jimmy Chin and filmmaker Elizabeth "Chai" Vasarhelyi talking about the making of the film Meru. In that clip they talked about the particular challenges that Jimmy, along with teammates Conrad Anker and Renan Ozturk, faced in capturing footage for the documentary. Today, we have another video from that same session, this time with Jimmy discussing the risks and responsibilities that mountaineers and climbers face when embarking on an expedition. As he says, it is a balance between pushing your own personal ambitions, while maintaining the safety of the entire team. It is an interesting look at where that line falls, from a man who has walked it on more than a few occasions.

Video: The Making of Meru

Earlier this year, the acclaimed climbing film Meru was released, giving us an incredible look at two expeditions by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to climb the infamous Shark Fin on Mt. Meru in India, with the trio finally completing the first ascent of that massive rock wall in 2010. If you haven't had the chance to see this documentary yet, you should do so as soon as possible. It is simply amazing, with some of the best mountaineering and climbing footage you could ever hope for.

If you have seen the film, you probably have wondered how it was made. Obviously the three climbers, and in particular Jimmy, did most of the shooting, which was later compiled together to make Meru. But there was more to it than just that, as you'll see in this video which is part of the Nat Geo Live series.

In the clip, Chin and filmmaker Elizabeth "Chai" Vasarhelyi discuss how the film came into being, and the process it took to put it altogether. Truly fascinating stuff, particularly if you've seen the movie and want to know how it was made.

Jon Krakauer Calls Climbing Everest "Biggest Mistake of My Life"

Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer raised eyebrows a few days back when he said that he felt climbing Mt. Everest was the biggest mistake of his life. Krakauer was speaking at a Huffington Post Live event at the time, which was being used to promote the new mountaineering film Meru in which he appears. His response came after receiving a question from a young climber who wanted tips for taking on the world's tallest mountain.

During the exchange Krakauer revealed that since climbing Everest back in 1996, the now-infamous season that was chronicled so famously in his book, he has suffered from bouts of PTSD, and continues to struggle with the events that too place there. You may recall that in 1996 eight climbers lost their lives on the mountain, including legendary guide Rob Hall. Into Thin Air is also he basis of the new film Everest that will be released to theaters on September 18.

Krakauer became famous thanks to the book, which was a bestseller at the time and is considered one of the top mountaineering books of all time. But, he told the HuffPo Live crowd "if I could go back and relive my life, I would never have climbed Everest."

Those are strong words from a guy who is so closely associated with the mountain. But they also show you how much of an impact the events that took place there have impacted his life, and he's probably not alone. A lot of people climb Everest for many different reasons, and the experience means different things to each of them. But when something as dreadful as the 1996 season goes down (or the 2014 and 2015 seasons for that matter), it is going to stick with you for the rest of your life.

The author went on to advise the 11-year old climber who initially asked the question about climbing Everest to think long and hard about his decision to do so. Krakauer told him "It's a serious, serious choice," adding, "If you do it, if you go for it, you'll be making really important decisions where your brain isn't functioning because of hypoxia or you haven't had enough to eat. Meru is a much harder mountain to climb, but in some ways Everest is much more dangerous. The dangers are more insidious. They're not as obvious."

Strong words indeed from a man who knows what he is talking about.

Video: Tour Conrad, Jimmy, and Renan's "Tenthouse" Suite from the Mountaineering Film Meru

Yesterday I mentioned that the mountaineering film Meru is due to be released in theaters this week. Today, National Geographic brings us this fantastic clip that takes us up 20,000 feet (6096 meters) to the "Tenthouse" suite, which is of course the wall-tent that the three climbers – Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk – stayed in while ascending the Shark Fin on Mt. Meru. Jimmy gives viewers a quick tour of their home, which is held in place by a few ropes, over a 4000 foot (1219 meter) drop. If you've ever wondered what it is like to live on the side of a mountain for days at a time, this clip will certainly provide some insights.

The commute to the suite is a tough one, but the views are certainly spectacular.

Meru Film Opens This Week

Yesterday I shared the second trailer for the upcoming Everest film, which judging from the traffic on that post there is a great deal of interest amongst reader. But that isn't the only mountaineer movie that we'll be able to catch in theaters over the next few weeks, as Meru is also releasing to a more limited number of screens starting this week.

This documentary follows the 2008 expedition to Mount Meru by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk to attempt to climb the Shark Fin, a 4000-foot (1219 meter) big wall in the Indian Himalaya. The trio of climbers faced difficult conditions, avalanches, harsh weather, and some of the most challenging pitches found anywhere on the planet on their way up the 21,000-foot (6400 meter) peak. Along the way they were pushed to their absolute limits as they gave into their obsession for reaching the summit.

For my money, Meru is the most important mountaineering film we'll see of the two new releases. It is raw and real, with the actual climbers telling the story. Everest on the other hand is a big Hollywood production that – judging from the trailer – is filled with melodramatic dialog. Don't get me wrong, the climbing scenes look well done for this type of movie, but Meru is using actual footage from the real expedition, and the scenes haven't been recreated for the purpose of telling the story.

The documentary will go into limited release starting this Friday, and will slowly make its way into other theaters in the weeks ahead. You can check to see where it will be playing in your area by clicking here. In my case, it arrives in my town on Sept. 4, two days after a depart for the South Pacific for my honeymoon. That means it may not be still playing here when I get back home, but I am eager to see it none the less.

For an idea of what Meru is all about, check out the trailer below. It does a fine job of showing us what to expect. Can't wait to see it at some point.

Video: Official Trailer for Meru

Back in 2008, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk traveled to northern India to climb the infamous Shark Fin on Mt. Meru. That expedition turned into the challenge of their lives, as the three men faced the massive task of scaling a 1500 foot (457 meter) rock face on a 21,000 foot (6400 meter) mountain that is legendary for its degree of difficulty. The story of that climb has been made into an documentary that has been winning high praise at a number of film festivals in recent months, ahead of its release in theaters on August 14. The trailer for the film, which is simply entitled Meru, can be found below.

After watching this, I can honestly say that it is instantly on my "must-see" list. The level of intensity is so high here that even the trailer will leave you on the edge of your seat. It looks like we could have a modern mountaineering masterpiece on our hands here, and I can't wait to see the final product.