Filmed and released 2010. 49 minutes. Directed by Ludo Challeat. In French. This video follows guide Ludovic Challeat, climbers Thomas Grenier, Christian Maurel, Yves Blazer, Marc Dreyer, and Jean-Marc Wojcik, and Pemba Sherpa as they attempt to climb Gasherbrum II in June - July 2010. Interviews with the climbers are interspersed with the climbing footage.
The film starts in Islamabad, the flight to Skardu, the jeep ride to Askole, hiring the porters, visiting a school, the trek to base camp, singing and dancing at Paiju, passing Nameless Trango Tower, the Cathedral, Masherbrum, Gasherbrum IV, Broad Peak and K2. They set up base camp and prepare the route across the glacier, and climb in deep snow to set up Camp 1 (5900m) and Camp 2 (6400m), Camp 3 (7000m) and Camp 4 (7400m). They descend to base camp, cooking, making chapattis, eating, showering, reading books, shaving, waiting out the bad weather, waiting, waiting, waiting for a good weather window.
When 5 days of good weather are forecasted, the team climbs through the glacier again and up to camps 1, 2, 3, and 4. Ludo and Pemba break the trail from Camp 4 to the top. At 9:30 am Sunday, July 11 Ludo Challeat, Pemba Sherpa and Thomas Grenier reach the summit of Gasherbrum II, after five hours of intense effort. The view of the surrounding peaks, including K2, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrums is excellent. Christian Maurel followed one hour later, and Marc (Marco) Dreyer stood on top 90 minutes after the first ones. Jean-Marc Wojcik and Yves Blazer remained in Camp 4 after a difficult, windy night. They descend to base camp and celebrate with a cake. They dismantle base camp and trek over the Gondogoro La to Hushe.
I really enjoyed this film. It is expertly filmed, perfectly paced, and contrasts the climbing with interviews with the climbers. The mountain views are excellent, including Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum IV, Chogolisa, K2 and, of course, Gasherbrum II. The trek to base camp is short but well documented. The terrain of the climbing route is shown so well it makes me feel like I know the route myself.