by Sebastian Alvaro. Al Filo De Lo Imposible, Spanish TV 1995. 36 minutes. Filmed in 1994. This film documents the 1994 Spanish K2 North Ridge Expedition. It features studio interviews with Doctor Ricardo Arregui, Juan Jose Sansebastian, Inaki Ochoa, and Ramon Portilla. This DVD also contains Makalu (filmed 2002, 53 minutes). Extras include interviews with Ardito Desio (14 minutes) and Walter Bonatti (17 minutes).
The film opens with doctors working on the severe frostbite of Spanish climber Juanjo Sansebastian. It then switches to the trek to K2 North Base Camp, using horse and camels. crossing rivers, and trekking under K2's North Face, and then setting up high camps. When an old fixed rope broke, Inaki Ochoa suffered an 80m fall, breaking his right arm and three ribs, and suffering nose injuries. He then had to be helped to painfully descend to base camp.
The first team climbed up the North Ridge, and on July 30, 1994 Jose Carlos Tamayo and Sebastian de la Cruz reached the K2 summit via the North Ridge. The final ascent and summit shots are from photos, including Jose Carlos playing the flute on the summit.
The next summit team then leaves base camp for their attempt, and climb up to camp 3, camp 4 and on August 4, 1994 Juan Ignacio (Atxo) Apellaniz and Juan Jose (Juanjo) Sansebastian also reached the K2 summit via the North Ridge. They had to bivouac above 8000m on the descent. In the morning, San Sebastian was swept away by an avalanche, but miraculously came to a stop 400m just above the top of the hanging glacier. He made it to camp 4, but then had to go back to help his exhausted partner Apellaniz, who started showing symptoms of altitude sickness. Despite the help he received from below, after seven agonizing days, Apellanitz died at camp II on August 10, where the whole team was delayed by a blizzard. San Sebastian returned home, but he paid for his adventure on K2 and his bravery with the amputation of seven fingers.
The video quality is good, not great. There really isn't much climbing footage. The film is really the interviews with the participants telling the dramatic story.