But when I saw the film Meru (which won the Audience Award at Sundance) over a weekend at the Midtown Art Cinema, I thought, “Oh, come on now!”
Narrated by one of my favorite authors, Jon Krakauer (who knows a few things about mountain climbing), the film follows the pursuit of three climbers to summit the thus far unattainable Himalayan peak Meru. (Click here to see the movie trailer featured at The Guardian.)
Now, when I read and blogged about Krakauer’s and other climbs of Mount Everest, I thought surely that must be the ultimate challenge. Hardly. Meru sort of makes Everest look like the Holiday Inn.
I’m exaggerating, per usual, but watching these guys in their ledge bivouac, dangling precariously and waving in the sheer winds of an ice storm, having first lugged their equipment up the straight vertical cliffs (no sherpas in their right minds would work here), fighting frostbite and avalanches in a quest to perch atop a single “shark fin” protruding from this massive rock–well, let’s just say they wrote the book on crazy.
But almost running out of food and fuel has to be the last straw. It’s not like they have Papa John’s on speed dial up there. I mean, even at the bottom of the Grand Canyon you can get a meal in a restaurant!
No, although the views are breathtaking at the top of the world, I fear my only involvement in extreme sports will have to continue to be outlasting the green-haired Generation X-er on the Stairmaster next to me at the gym.
And oh, does that make me happy!
But undoubtedly I will be reading more about Everest soon, inspired by the new movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. There’s nothing better on a chilly day (or a hot one) than reading inside in a comfy chair (or sitting in a climate-controlled theater) while the crazy people in freezing, life-or-death adventure-dramas do their thing.
Note to self: Stock up on hot chocolate and popcorn! It’s going to be a COLD winter!
If you want to view the trailer for Gyllenhaal’s film, see: Everest – Official Trailer (HD) – YouTube.