One in four people will die while trying to conquer K2, the second highest peak, making it one of the most dangerous mountains ever. In 2008, 11 climbers attempting to summit its peak died in the worst single accident in K2’s history. What occurred during those fateful few days in August still isn’t fully known, but the documentary The Summit does its best at piecing together the puzzle.
The documentary features actual video and photographs taken by the mountaineers combined with reenactments to recreate the series of events that happened. It can be somewhat jarring at first to distinguish the reenactment scenes as there is no indication at the beginning that the documentary will be using recreated scenes. Personally I would have still enjoyed the film without the reenactments. The real video and photos bring to life something that has been rarely seen by only a select few.
The Summit honors those that lost their lives on K2, especially Irish climber Ger McDonnell, who became the first person from Ireland to reach the summit. There’s something hauntingly beautiful in seeing pictures taken with Ger, hands held high on top of K2, knowing that he wouldn’t make it down. That is the danger these climbers risk when they take on the toughest mountain. With as beautiful as the scenery is, I can see why.
K2 is a beast of a mountain but the thrill and the joy you see on people’s faces when the reach the summit is unrivaled. The Summit is a tribute to those people who lost their lives there in 2008 and it adequately captures both the beauty and the danger the mountain possesses. Whether your into mountaineering or not, it’s one documentary that is well worth watching.