Cold

2011 USA / Duration: 20 mins Directed by: Anson Fogel

Ascending an 8,000-meter peak is never easy. In winter, with temperatures plummeting to 30 below and colder and with snowstorms raging, it is nearly unthinkable. In fact, of the seventeen efforts to ascend an 8,000-meter peak in Pakistan in winter only one has been successful. That winter ascent of Gasherbrum II by Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards is the subject of Cold. Filmed by Richards and written from his perspective, this is a very personal and frank portrayal of the risks and rigors of high-altitude mountaineering, in this case intensified by the choice of calendar date—fully three months ahead of the standard Himalayan season. There’s crazy; and then there’s cold crazy. Moro, Urubko and Richards clearly pitch their tents in the latter camp. Of the three, only Richards—the first American to ever achieve an 8,000-meter winter ascent anywhere—seems concerned by the madness.

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