What happens when an East Coaster takes on one of the tallest mountains in North America? Pittsburgh writer Robert Isenberg decided to find out. After living most of his adult life at sea level, Isenberg flew to Las Vegas, drove across Death Valley, and attempted to summit 14,500-ft.-tall Mt. Whitney—the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states.
THE MOUNTAIN is his good-humored documentary about alpine hiking. A follow-up to his 2012 debut THE TRAIL, THE MOUNTAIN explores small-town California, Hollywood legends, a Japanese internments camp, and the spirit of the West. Using interviews and DIY filmmaking techniques, Isenberg illustrates a breathtaking desert landscape that continues to astonish pilgrims from the Eastern seaboard. He contends with ice-fields, altitude sickness, and the threat of bears—all in the hopes of standing higher than anyone in the country.