The summit: visually impressive and narratively focused with a deadline

By Jenny Alvarez

Photo: Courtesy

A thrilling documentary directed by Nick Ryan and written by Mark Monroe comes with K2, commonly known as Savage Mountain, is an extension of the northwestern Himalayan Mountain range and is located in the remote region between Pakistan and China. With an unprecedented fatality rate of one in four climbers, it has rightfully earned the title of the second most murderous mountain. But with any high risk sport comes the love of the challenge, and in August 2008 22 climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished into thin air. Like a horror movie come to life, it was as if the mountain began stealing lives, one climber at a time. The Summit is a seamless pastiche of the climbers’ firsthand footage, after-the-fact interviews and reenactments. This was not just a tragedy for one group of climbers, it was members of several groups who were all climbing simultaneously and with each other’s help and it focuses on the mystery behind one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell, who was left behind in the death zone as his best friend searched in vain to find him, rescuing several others. As the legend surrounding McDonnell and the ten others grows, fearless new climbers are drawn to test themselves against the deadliest mountain on Earth.

The Summit, entered a mental “death zone” long before they ever set foot on the mountain especially when the team gunned for the summit, knowing they wouldn’t have enough daylight to make it back down to the closest camp.


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