The Man Who Skied Down Everest
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This incredible, award-winning film features adventurer, poet and world-champion skier Yuichiro Miura as he and his team face the most challenging climb in the world, Mt. Everest. The ascent is fraught with tragedy, the descent miraculous. During the climb, they face an icefall that claims the lives of six of their team, still considered the worst natural disaster accident in Himalayan history. With a 35mm Panavision film crew in tow, they continue on to the South Col, only 350 meters from the summit, where Miura put his life in the hands of the gods in his descent. Using oxygen and a parachute to slow his speed, Miura skied 7,000 feet over sheer ice and rocks. Unbalanced by the gusting winds, he hit a boulder and fell 1,320 feet, smashing into rocks and ice ridges. A patch of snow was all that saved him, allowing his fall to end just moments away from the Bergshrund Crevasse. This final climax has been called the most exciting six minutes of film ever shot as Miura plummets helplessly down Everest's unforgiving icy slopes toward certain death.
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Top customer reviews
The film begins as a sort of "how to" and shows all of the equiptment and provisions that needs to be hauled up to the base camp (I forget how many tons but it was a lot). It takes us through the route that the porters (and climbers) had to journey. That seemed like a challeging enough trek in itself. We get to the base camp area of Everest which appeared as though Miura and his crew had sole reservations to. This was in the early 1970's and was, apparently, before the climbing of Everest became such a popular sport. Knowing about the thin air from Krakauer's book and other sources, I was astonished to see one of the party smoking a cigarette. I recalled the time I did that in the Andes and almost passed out. There is a tragic accident due to a cave in and half a dozen native porters are killed. I pondered the superhuman efforts that must have occurred in order to recover the bodies.
Eventually, we see Miura ski down a major portion of Everest and it is, by itself, worth the price of the DVD. The uncredited part of this video presentation is the camera work that was done to bring this event into our homes. Even on the single-file portering of the provisions up to the base camp, we get incredible camera shots from quite a distance. It may be by plane in some cases but the shots vere very steady and I'm not sure that would have happened in an air-borne vehicle at that thin-air altitude. The shots of the skiing also seemed to come from parrallel angles but the there was a noticeable decrease in clarity so it might have been shot from quite a distance at a lower altitude. Either way, we got the feeling that we were seeing things from a relatively close perspective.
I remembered the title of this movie from the Academy Awards from 1975. It's title is compelling. The film is even more so.
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