My favourite delusion is that I’m a proper mountaineer. I cultivate this fantasy every second weekend by stuffing Clif Bars and carabiners into my Dakine pack and setting out for a serious 30 minute march on well-graded paths through the local hinterland. This game of make believe usually ends around the time we pull into the carpark of the nearest tea shoppe for brunch and scones.
Films like Meru yank you rudely back to reality.
Yes, as lively as my imagination can be — it experiences catastrophic meltdown just trying to comprehend the things these three lunatics do. The crazies in question, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, have been pushing the limits of climbing, and the level of adventure documentary work, for years. To be able to not just climb the un-climbable, but to document it cinematically, and weave it into a gripping story — that’s art.
This film captures their second attempt to summit the Shark’s Fin on Mt Meru — a previously unconquered peak in the Himalayas that’s crushed more dreams than American Idol and the Bachelor put together. If the trailer doesn’t make every follicle on your body throw themselves into a Mexican wave of goosebumps, you should probably check your pulse.