“The time is now. Life is sweet. Loving life.” Such are the taglines of expedition madman Mike Libecki, whose self- described Obsessive Expedition Climbing Disorder has propelled him on roughly 70 expeditions in some of the most remote rock faces on the planet. Two years after barely succeeding on climbing a tower called Poumaka in French Polynesia, he returns to attempt the nearby sacred tower of Matehenui. But when conditions become more than sketchy, he is reminded that sometimes success has a different meaning than standing on a summit.
Conrad Anker: All Storms Pass
Captain of the North Face climbing team, author, father and modern climbing legend Conrad Anker embodies the mountaineering ideal. His accomplishments among the world’s tallest peaks are vast: ascents include the west face of Latok II in Pakistan’s Karakoram, the three towers of the Cerro Torre Massif in Patagonia and the Streaked Wall in Zion. Anker was part of the expedition that discovered the body of George Mallory on Everest in 1999, and in October of 2011, along with Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, Anker realized a long-held dream when he topped out on the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru — an epic endeavor made famous in the film Meru (Mountainfilm 2016). Anker has a long history of bridging generational gaps — climbing with mentors like Mugs Stump, contemporaries like Alex Lowe but also young guns such as David Lama. And despite his noteworthy accomplishments, he retains an approachability, level-headedness and conscientiousness that makes him a hero to many. Anker says that family, climbing and community are his sources of happiness, even when they bring challenges. “Even when we’re suffering, whether it’s in the mountains or because of something going on at home, trying situations are a way to understand our human condition. You have to try to rise above the adversity. I like doing that.” In this presentation, Mountainfilm’s 2018 Guest Director will talk about risk, loss and how it affects younger generations.
In Person: Conrad Anker
While making a summit attempt of an unclimbed peak in Nepal in 2016, Conrad Anker suffered a heart attack. With his climbing partner, David Lama, able to do little more than look on, Anker self-rescued from 20,000 feet. It marked the end of his long and storied career as a high-altitude mountaineer, but not his passion to climb. In Hold Fast, Anker returns to one of his favorite big wall climbs — El Cap, in Yosemite National Park. With him is Alex Wildman, an ardent amateur climber and close friend. The good news is that Wildman is a cardiac nurse. But he has never before climbed a big wall. And he has a serious health concern of his own.