Timmy O'Neill's first halting steps into the intimidating and intense sport of ultra running. With a hot dog in his pants.
Point of No Return
Only 24 people have reached the summit of Mt. Edgar in China’s Sichuan Province, but none approached via the east side of the 22,368-foot mountain. Top-flight alpinists Jonny Copp and Micah Dash, followed by cameraman Wade Johnson for the Sender Films First Ascent series, were attempting a new route. As the group hiked toward base camp, they expressed concern about the warm weather. "It's scary," Jonny said on camera. "I've been on a lot of expeditions with Jonny," Micah said, "and that's the first time I've ever heard him refer to something as 'scary.'" They were right to be unnerved. After three weeks in base camp with little progress, they decided to abandon the ascent and retrieve some gear they’d stashed higher on the mountain. As they proceeded, a massive avalanche let loose, killing all three of them. Point of No Return tells the compelling story of these accomplished men and is also a testament to the talented Sender Films team who produced a clear-eyed film about their lost friends. —DH
This film about the O’Neill brothers, Timmy and Sean, profiles an unusual pair of siblings. Timmy is, of course, a familiar face to Mountainfilm audiences with his brilliant climbing and comedy. Sean, however, is new to the festival and is equally unforgettable for his own achievements. Sean is confined to a wheelchair because of an accident that happened when he was younger, but being an O’Neill, this doesn’t stop him from climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan or attempting Peak 6000 in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. This short piece, part of the First Ascent series by Sender Films, is the kind of climbing film that keeps the genre alive and well.