Nominated, Grand Jury Prize for Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
On 1 August 2008, climbers from seven international expeditions set out to conquer the summit of K2, considered by many to be the greatest challenge in the climbing world. Though the weather conditions were perfect, what followed was the greatest disaster in the history of attempts on K2. Of the twenty-four climbers who set out, only thirteen survived.
Among the climbers was Ger McDonnell from Kilcornan, Co. Limerick, a larger than life figure who became the first Irishman to reach the summit. But the descent from K2 is even more treacherous than the climb, and as darkness fell and ice-falls cut the ropes on which the climbers depended, the mountain’s deadly nature revealed itself.
In the days that followed, conflicting accounts of the tragedy began to emerge, and central to the mystery was the question of what happened to Ger. Through interviews with the survivors, footage taken during the climb, and breathtaking reconstructions, Nick Ryan’s film tells the story of the disaster: a story of obsession, heroism, carelessness and sheer bad luck. The Summit is the most gripping climbing documentary since Touching the Void and a moving tribute to the climbers who lost their lives.
Alistair Daniel, Jameson Dublin International Film Festival