The Summit Review – Stunning, Shocking, Devastating

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"The Summit," a doc-drama from Image Now Films, Fantastic Films and Passion Pictures, recounts the day eleven climbers were killed on K2 in what has become known as the deadliest day in mountain climbing history.

Directed by Nick Ryan, "The Summit," reunites through personal interviews members from several international expeditions all who had arrived to climb this majestic, breathtakingly beautiful, brutally harsh, 28,851ft monster situated in the northwestern Himalayan Mountain range.

Reenacting the days leading up to the disaster, "The Summit" stars Christine Barnes, Niall Foley, Stefan Grossniklaus, Christo Mitzkov, Garrett Philipps, Johannes Moser as Rolf Bae and Lochlainn O'Mearain as Ger McDonnell and is written by Mark Monroe.

Original members of the expeditions appear in the film recounting how the day, that was crystal clear, a "one in a million day" could have ended so tragically including Cecilie Skog, Maco Confortola, Pat Falvey, Pasang Lama, Tshering Lama, J.J. McDonnell, Lars Nessa, Damien O'Brien, Chhiring Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa, Annie Starkey, Fredik Strang, Cas Van De Gevel, Wilco van Roojen and Albertp Zerain.

Intertwining the elements necessary for a successful climb filmmakers feature the history of K2, beginning with an Italian expedition who became the first climbers to successfully make it to the summit.

K2 is divided into sections, the base camp, at the foot of Savage Mountain, then at three other intervals until what is known as Base camp IV, which is where the climbers sleep in preparation for the final advance to K2's summit.

On August 1, 2008, those climbers that had rode out the weather, including a wind storm the night before which picked one of the tents up and flung it off the side of the mountain, saw a window open for a day unlike any other.

The accent began. Climbing K2 is a lot like standing in line. After the initial accent, the climbers using fixed ropes wait, in what is known as the bottleneck, and is every bit what the name envisions. The other extreme danger at the bottleneck stage is the climbers are waiting under an overhang of ice, called a serac.

By nightfall on August 1, 2008, eleven climbers who had initiated the accent including Ger McDonnell, the first Irishman to make it to the Summit, Dren Mandic, from the Serbian team, who unclipped his rope, lost his footing, bumped into Cecilie Skog who was waiting in the bottleneck, and slide down the bottleneck 100meters, striking a rock, to his death and Jehan Baig, from the Pakistani expedition, who died attempting to save Dren.

Rolf Bae, the husband of Cecilie Skog, who had decided not to make the accent to the summit but waited for his wife and fellow Norwegian, Lars Flato Nessa,  to begin the decent was killed as an ice searc fell and sliced the ropes.  He was never found.  The two survivors of the Norwegian team, Skog and Nessa, continued the decent in the dark, free climbing or descending with the use of the fixed ropes which act as guide and protector and made it to Base Camp IV during the night.

Three members of the South Korean expedition, Kyeong-Hyo Park, Hyo-Gyeong Kim, Dong-Jin Hwang as well as both the Serpa's, guides hired to carry the equipment from Nepal, Jumik Bhote and Pasang Bhote were killed in a second ice searc fall as were Hugues D'Aubarede of France and Karim Meherban of Pakistan.

"The Summit" is gripping, a traumatic docu-drama. The interviews with the survivors and their families leave you speechless and wondering what type of person would want to take the risks for a single ten minute 'I'm at the top of the world' thrill?

K2 is like the ocean, indiscriminate in unleashing its power, it is not the strong, the weak, the most or least experienced, who survive the sudden unexplainable storms. Nor is it will power, strength, intelligence or determination. It is  hope, sheer luck, fate, chance and a prayer that the hand of God is upon you that day and stays the unexpected until the decent is complete.

K2 is the most dangerous of climbs. According to statistics of every four who ascend to the summit, one will die in the decent.The loss of loved ones is deep and irreparably felt by all who loved them or felt the burden of their survival.

Assessing blame is common in tragedies such as these and truthfully, it is an enter at your own risk extreme sport.

Coupled with the oxygen deprivation, which results in the loss of rational decision making, the sudden, unexpected and obviously unplanned ice fall, and poor time management in the beginning of the expedition were all factors, and noted in the documentary, which caused the deaths of the eleven.

The burden didn't rest on one or the other who survived. Nor did it rest on the shoulders of those who died.

It is unfortunately, what it, is: A senseless tragedy.

Global warming will continue to create extremely hazardous conditions making the probability and likelihood of serac accidents more common.

The loosening of the serac ice, the volume of enthusiasts who want to attempt K2 and the time, which will not change, of being in the cue, waiting in the bottleneck line, will only increase the chance of ice fall accidents.

"The Summit" is genuinely interesting, and tells the stories of those who died, those who survived and those who rescued others. It details the internal power struggle for base camp supremacy as all teams meet, in council like sessions, to determine bottleneck position.

"The Summit" is a must see film.

"The Summit" premiered at the 2013 London Film Festival and was also featured at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Editing Award: World Cinema Documentary. Sundance Selects will release the film theatrically on October 4 in Los Angeles and New York with a national roll out following..

Haute Tease

  • Gifted Review – A Perfectly Balanced Film of Life, Love, Hurt and Hope

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gifted, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, presents the story of balance, of finding the right place, of love, passion, hope, the cruelties of predestination, the mysteries of fate, the pursuit of betterment, and what to do when the worlds collide.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Blasts Dems, Iran Attacks, Mex Deal, Sanders Exits, Boeing Setback, Amanda Knox

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump attacked former Vice-President and 2020 Democratic Presidential challenger this week with a barrage of denigrating remarks as the polls show Biden with a solid double-digit lead and a win if the election were held today.

     
  • Money News: North American, European Markets Close Down; Asian Split

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, fell prey to the predicted Bear market taking a hit for the second straight week, closing the trading week down with triple digit losses setting a world tone with eight of the ten most watched market in the world closing down.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Russia Grants Snowden Asylum; Syrian Rebel Package; Global Terror Alert; July Job Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama saw a glimmer of economic hope last week as July Job numbers were released which showed a significant drop in the overall unemployment situation and slight gains in job creation and growth.

     
  • Apricot Chai – A Natural Aphrodisiac Tea

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Valentine's day just around the corner, California Tea House, the premier boutique, organic tea company of Southern California, decided to inspire tea lovers to ignite their passion for tea by turning it into a passionate rendezvous.

     
  • No Indictment in Ferguson Case; Violence Hits More Than 90 Cities

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Missouri Grand Jury refused to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed African American teen shot and killed in broad daylight, while walking in the street near his home, last August.

     
  • New Year, New You: Seven Ways to Start 2017 Right

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The New Year is upon us and it’s time to re-calibrate our self-care strategies, amp up our health, fitness and overall wellness. This is always a great time to turn to the marketplace for innovations that can ease and expedite our endeavors.

     
  • An A-List Line-Up of the Most Acclaimed African American Talent Join For One Night Celebrating the Spoken Word with Music and Dance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WordTheatre’s Storytales: Featuring celebrities performing stories from acclaimed African-American author John Edgar Wideman’s literary anthology ‘Briefs’ at the Ford Amphitheatre Saturday October 6, 2012.

     
  • Money News: DOW Up; World Markets Rebound; Asian Markets Plummet

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Rallying from the recent Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attacks the World Markets responded to the global show of strength sending a unified anti-terror message as skittish investors returned to the markets of the world with renewed confidence.

     
  • Queen Breaks Long Standing Fiancée Tradition Invites Meghan Markle To Join Family

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Newly engaged Prince Harry and his American actress fiancée, Meghan Markle, spent the Christmas Holidays attending the traditional Christmas Service at The Queen's Sandringham estate along with other members of the royal family.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Impeachment Hearings, Rebirth of ISIS, Economy, Housing, Election 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump, coming off the military campaign which killed the leader of the Islamic State, of which both parties lauded as successful, is resigning himself to the upcoming impeachment hearings which are expected to be televised.

     
  • Celebrity Photos: Amy Adams, Martin Scorsese, Emma Stone, Denzel Washington Among the Artists Honored At AFI Awards 2016 Luncheon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    America's finest film and television artists were among the guests honored today by the American Film Institute (AFI) at its annual AFI AWARDS 2016 luncheon. With no winners or losers, AFI AWARDS celebrates the creative ensembles behind the year's most outstanding storytelling.

     
  • Carlos The Jackal Receives Life Sentence for 1974 Paris Bombing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Carlos The Jackal, born Iiyich Ramirez Sanchez, was sentenced to a third life sentence in a French court for his role in the 1974 bombing on a Paris Drug Store that killed two and wounded 34.

     
  • World News: The Dangerously Deserted Arena of French Leadership

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The emptiness of the political speeches of the great French parties, incapable of apprehending contemporary changes, left the field open to two opponents, LREM and Rassemblement National, locked in a Manichean debate dangerous for the Republic.

     
  • Oceana Coastal Kitchen San Diego Review – Enjoy Alfresco Dining, Pacific Views and Delightful Deep Sea Delicacies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    While San Diego has no shortage of fantastic restaurants, new to the region’s distinctive dining scene is Oceana Coastal Kitchen, an airy bayside eatery dishing up chef-driven, seafood-centric California cuisine amid sweeping hypnotic waterfront views that’ll keep you returning.