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Trio For One: Jean Christophe Lafaille

Trio For One: Jean Christophe Lafaille, Pakistan, 24 November 2006

This 56-minute film follows famed French mountaineer Jean-Christophe Lafaille's exploits in 2003, climbing Dhaulagiri solo (May 20), and Nanga Parbat (June 24) and Broad Peak (July 15) with Ed Viesters. The narration is in French with English subtitles. One of the bonus features is a video of his ascent of the Shishapangma (Dec 11, 2004) solo in winter. Another bonus is a 12-minute interview with JC and Ed Viesters. Lafaille disappeared on January 26, 2006 near the summit of Makalu, attempting the first solo winter ascent.

Story

The 18-minute chapter on Nanga Parbat begins with the drive up the Karakorum Highway and the trek to Nanga Parbat Base Camp, quite pleasantly set in a grassy area amid flowers. JC and Ed Viesturs acclimatize by climbing to camps 1 and 2, but then JC falls ill with food poisoning and and has to return to Base Camp to recover. After recovering, JC climbs a new 2000m route on the Diamir Face with Simone Moro before joining Ed on the normal Linshofer route. Simone is still not acclimatized and turns back. Ed and JC leave camp 4 on June 24 at 4am, and after an 8-hour climb reach the summit of Nanga Parbat.

Filmed by Lafaille himself much of the time and Ed Viesturs, I liked the honest portrayal of a mountaineer dealing with the struggles of climbing, his illness, and the basics of life like eating and melting snow for drinking. The mountain views are very good, but there is no film from camp 4 to the summit. There is film of JC and Ed on the the summit, but it is cloudy.

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