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K2: The Impossible Descent

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
An hour long free-to-view film of the incredible ascent and ski-descent of the world’s second-highest mountain has been released by Red Bull to mark the second anniversary of the remarkable achievement.

K2: The Impossible Descent tells the story of Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel’s world-first mission to ski from the peak of K2 down to base without support oxygen, and without removing his skis.

https://www.inthesnow.com/the-man-who-skied-k2-film-released/


Movie here

https://www.redbull.com/int-en/films/k2-the-impossible-descent
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Mike Pow, wow!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Steilhang wrote:
@Mike Pow, wow!


That’s just after reading the description; before even watching the film !!
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Incredible achievement and great film. Essential viewing even in mid summer.
I was gripped even though i knew he made it down safely.
Love that a relatively unknown Pole went and skied such a cutting edge descent while being under radar.

Side story about drones being involved in 2x rescue/ incident was an interesting sign of the times.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just reaching the summit without oxygen is a remarkable achievement, let alone skiing down. The rescue on broad peak and the style of the climb (small and relatively self-sufficient team) just make it even more impressive.

I enjoyed the documentary but would have liked to see more skiing, we got only a couple of clips. The same was the case with the Lhotse documentary where they cut out any clips of the crux. Come on guys we know it's not going to be aesthetic skiing, we can appreciate that roped sideslipping is necessary. In that regard I enjoy the chamlines videos more that show things like anchors being set up. Embrace that it is ski mountaineering not a freeride competition.

I'm sure their will be backlash by some of the traditionalist climbers over the use of drones, but anything that saves lives and makes things safer has got to be a good thing.

Quote:

Love that a relatively unknown Pole


I mean he was pretty well known in the mountaineering community. I'm surprised that Hilaree Nelson and Jimmy Chin were not more aware of him. Fastest Elbrus summit, fastest snow leopard (with 4/5 being ski descents), 3 8000m+ ski descents including first ski descent of broad peak. He'd certainly put together a decent resume, enough that the winter K2 guys tried to recruit him for their expedition prior to the K2 ski descent.
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A fantastic story. I watched it with some non-climbing, non-skiing friends. It was hard to describe how a whiteout felt even on Piste conditions to them. So taking in everything in. The climb with ski's on his back, the unpredictability of K2 itself, his exhaustive state and the temperatures he must've endured and then the white out. It is a mind boggling achievement.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

would have liked to see more skiing, we got only a couple of clips

I’m guessing the fact he’s skiing alone had something to do with the lack of ski footage? Wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
abc wrote:
Quote:

would have liked to see more skiing, we got only a couple of clips

I’m guessing the fact he’s skiing alone had something to do with the lack of ski footage? Wink


Plus his priority was probably getting down alive (rather than taking selfies) ?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:


I’m guessing the fact he’s skiing alone had something to do with the lack of ski footage?



There was much more drone footage than we actually saw. I think the descent took around 6-7 hours so even accounting for drone needing to go to base camp for battery swaps you would think they have at least 2 hours of footage, probably 4+. Also he had a headcam. I guess I wouldn't mind limited footage so much, but here they skipped some of the interesting bits (the bottleneck, traverse above it, and put a tiny amount from the messner traverse which they could have easily filmed him setting the route on this on his first descent using the drone). Lhotse film also skipped the obvious crux. I suspect it's to limit the roped sideslipping stuff, but imo that's as much part of ski mountaineering as anything else.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Here's Dave Watson's tracks from skiing the bottleneck previously http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/429136/4141076/1252903022193/IMG_6020.JPG?token=Dn5ZzDAJUOvzU%2BWnei0yCR3LzJQ%3D

Would have made for an epic video.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I got an ad for the movie come up on Facebook (joys of targeted advertising!). Its just a short video which flashes a bunch of 1sec long clips. One is headcam footage on what looks like the bottleneck, which makes me think it was recorded. Regardless if it is the bottleneck or not it looks at least if not more technical from a skiing point of view than anything in the movie so there is clearly more footage that has been cut out.

I guess it's personal preference but I like seeing all the rough bits, mountaineering elements, and survival skiing like they show in chamlines and south lines. I'm sure red bull know what sells though, so maybe it's not appealing to most. Maybe the extra footage will be released one day
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
May also have to account for poor visibility during part of his descent?

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see more skiing, or even the climbing part too, instead of the boring image of “faces” sitting in front of camera with their Red Bull logo hat!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Perhaps bad visability ruined some of the drone video. Clearly it was bad for at least some of the descent, athough I'm sure I remember reading that he waited an hour in one of the camps for the weather to improve.

Zabardast was filmed not so far away and did an excellent job of getting great footage with less facilities than would be available at Basecamp. Granted they had a bigger team and the film was the reason for the trip. Maybe Andrezej and his team were not so bothered about filming, they did have some more pressing concerns snowHead and he seems kind of quiet and introverted guy.

My suspicion is more with the editing though, it seems to be a trend. In Lhotse they are skiing down filming just above the crux, I remember seeing it below them thinking this is going to be interesting, will they rope up? Then it immediately cutting to them below it making some nice turns on the fan. I have friends who would say if you're roped up side slipping it's not "real" skiing and I know these projects from Redbull and North Face are aimed at mass market so maybe they don't like that in there.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It’s a very interesting film. Not least with the “side shows” of rescue and creative drone use, which in my view add to the understanding of the complexity of mountaineering in the Himalayas.

This isn’t just about this film. But I never quite understand all that shot of people sitting in front of the camera! With limited time to fit all the “interesting bits” of ACTION, why waste all that time staring at a static face sitting in the living room yapping away???
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I enjoyed it, but very little of it showed skiing or even mountaineering skiing. It felt a little disjointed in its storytelling but worth an hour of your time
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The drone rescue business was very cool. I can't imagine even the most traditionalist mountaineer having a problem with a couple people not dying due to a guy with a drone transporting meds or leading a lost climber to the rest of their group.

The mention earlier that one in 4 people who climb it don't come back was at the forefront of my mind when the drone was leading a one lost one of a group of four back to the rest of their party. Very cool.


The rest... Well, who can argue with a documentary on anyone even attempting something like that. Even a complete failure would have been interesting. Cool stuff, ta for the link, Mr Pow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:


shot of people sitting in front of the camera! With limited time to fit all the “interesting bits” of ACTION, why waste all that time staring at a static face sitting in the living room yapping away???



They can add some perspective and alternate viewpoints/facts but I generally agree that the ratio of talking to action was not great.

Quote:

one in 4 people who climb it don't come back


It's maybe a bit of a misleading statistic. Around 80 people have died on k2, and around 400 summits, which is where the 1/4 stat comes from. However, the total deaths are a little skewed by the 2008 tragedy where 11 climbers died. The total summits is also skewed in the opposite direction by the fact that summit rate is very low (some years there are no successful summits). Also as technology advances we have better forecasting and equipment (drones are a good example!) For recent years we see:
2019: around 30 summits and 0 deaths
2018: around 60 summits and 2 deaths
2017, 2016, 2015: 0 summits and possibly 0 deaths (I find this a little surprising, I wouldn't be surprised if there were actually a few deaths).
2014: around 40 summits and 1 death

Don't get me wrong K2 is certainly a dangerous mountain with a lot of uncontrollable risk (this traverse under the serac is a good example https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:K2-above-Bottleneck.jpg ).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:


shot of people sitting in front of the camera! With limited time to fit all the “interesting bits” of ACTION, why waste all that time staring at a static face sitting in the living room yapping away???



They can add some perspective and alternate viewpoints/facts but I generally agree that the ratio of talking to action was not great.


My problem isn't with the content, just the presentation.

Rather than having image of one after another of their not-that-pretty-looking face yapping away in the studio/home/tent, their comments could have been paired with image of some of the difficult bits of climbing or skiing, which in my view would BETTER convey the point of their speech.
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