And how much would you risk? In legend Conrad Anker’s mind’s eye, summiting Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru “was worth possibly dying for.”
Imagine lying down in your suspended tent, frigid winds whipping at the thin walls, and coming to the realization that this is how you’re meant to die. For Anker, that was his reality as he lie with fellow alpinists Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk. Worse yet, the expedition had gone through half their food as they still stared up at 90-percent of the climb. In every way, “the center of the universe [seemed] unattainable.”
“This is the anti-Everest,” Anker continues, “the test of the master climber.”
Meru, trailer below and in theaters August 14, is the story of this test.
It is a story of one’s past, present, and future, from inner demons to familial responsibility, from life to death, and everything in between. It is a meditation on the taxing pursuit of big-wall climbing, of which Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru remains an ultimate prize. At 21,000 feet above the Ganges River in Northern India, it is both a dream and a nightmare for the world’s best and brightest and toughest climbers.
Harking back to an expedition in 2008, the documentary explores the devolution of a seven-day trip into a 20-day odyssey — an odyssey that eventually fell short — and how that particular failure led to yet another attempt three years later in 2011. For the crew of three, this put their passions in perspective and quite literally presented them with the question: “How far will you go to achieve the impossible?”
“Am I taking too many chances?” John Krakauer offers in insight to the dilemma every climber struggles with. “Can I control the risk? Of course you can’t control the risk. Well, why am I doing this? Because I have to do it or I go crazy.”