This is an authentic climbing film about three men who attempt to summit a difficult knifeshaped peak at the headwaters of the Ganges River. The climb, attempted unsuccessfully by many, involves both dangerous ice-and-snow and rock-face techniques. Shot professionally by two of the three climbers, the film makes the acts of climbing immediate, from screwing in anchors to winching up supplies through thin air. It also offers a unique view into the lifestyle and the value of trust among climbers. What happens between the two Meru attempts, both led by celebrated mountaineer Conrad Anker, is as important to the narrative as the climb itself.
Not rated. 90 minutes. Violet Crown. (Bill Kohlhaase)