The deadliest day on the worlds most dangerous mountain.
Trailer for the feature documentary 'The Summit'
In August 2008, twenty-four climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth. Forty-eight hours later, eleven had been killed or had vanished, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.
In a century of assaults on K2, only about 300 people have ever seen the view from the planet’s second highest peak. More than a quarter of those who made it didn't live long enough to share the glory, or to tell the tale.
At the heart of The Summit lies a mystery about one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell. By all accounts, he was faced with a heart-breaking dilemma— at the very limit of his mortal resources, he encountered a disastrous scene and a moral dilemma: three climbers tangled up in ropes and running out of time. In the death zone, above 8,000 metres, the body is literally dying with each passing second. Morality is skewed 180 degrees from the rest of life. When a climber falls or wanders off the trail, the unwritten code of the mountain is to leave them for dead. Had Ger McDonnell stuck to the climbers’ code, he might still be alive.
The Summit is about the very nature of modern adventure. Those who survive carry with them a commodity to sell— The Story. This one remains contentious and fiercely debated.
Produced and Directed by Nick Ryan
Written by Mark Monroe
Edited by Ben Stark
Music by Nick Seymour
Director of Photography Robbie Ryan & Stephen O'Reilly
Executive Producer John Battsek, Pat Falvey, Darrell Kavanagh, John McDonnell