Meru Review (hey, that rhymes!)

by ‘The Armchair Alpinist’

The North Face Meru Expedition, 2011
The North Face Meru Expedition, 2011

Hey, so it’s no secret that I’m afraid of most things…really high heights (anything above the treeline)…bears (anywhere below the treeline)…extreme cold…extreme hunger…extreme lack of washroom facilities…but oh how I do love a documentary involving all of the above! Imagine then my delight as I snuggled in under my couch blanket with a cup of tea to enjoy this year’s extraordinary climbing documentary, Meru.

Winner of the 2015 Sundance Audience Award for documentaries, this film delivers delicious tension, triumph over tragedy, inspiring friendships, an unexpected avalanche (who doesn’t enjoy avalanche footage?), an unexpected romance (hint: not between the 3 climbers) and the sage narration of the seasoned (handsome) Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air).

The North Face Meru Expedition, 2011
The North Face Meru Expedition, 2011

Especially fascinating to me were the conversations with  Jimmy Chin, Conrad Anker, and Renan Ozturk about their fear — how they worked with it, controlled it, and used it to keep themselves alive. Also interesting were the ways they rationalized their risk-taking to their loved ones. (Having once been married to a ‘risk-taker’, I’m still not sure I buy it…)

Meru-0899-©JimmyChin
Exhausted, Renan Ozturk contemplates the long descent after making the summit. The top is only half way.

Suffice it to say, the photography is stunning as are the revelations about courage and commitment. I’d highly recommend your putting on the kettle, stacking up a plate with sugar cookies, and hunkering down for a delicious adventure story.

–The Armchair Alpinist

 

Meru Review (hey, that rhymes!)

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