Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    So-so documentary portrays events of 2008 on K2.

    Things are getting crowded on mountain tops. We had the massive loss of life on Everest this year. And Krakauer's documented event on Everest. And 2008 on K2.

    • Bad things happen when too many people hook onto a rope.


    • Slow climbers slow all climbers.


    • Dependency on ropes is similarly fatal, and attracts novice climbers.


    Pity this documentary focuses on after events, instead of pointing out that (1) leaving too late in the day, with (2) too many climbers on the same route at the same time, and (3) mixing in novice teams, on a mountain as deadly, unpredictable and daunting as K2 is a recipe for disaster. Throw in a dash of summit fever -- people not knowing when to turn around and live to climb another day -- and you have K2 in 2008.

    Noticeably absent from this documentary is the voice of Ed Viesturs -- perhaps the safest high altitude climber of them all.

    For what it is worth, I would have appreciated the dramatization moments being labeled as such. Or be removed/replaced with voice-over of the people involved and still/video images of K2.

    Neither a great nor an awful documentary, let's at least try to learn from it and other sources. That would be showing respect for those who have gone before us.