“Higher, harder, stronger, lighter. Need less, do more. Pull, kick, shatter.” This is the mantra of Steve House as he contemplates and then free solos a prodigious wall of ice in this incisive and lyrically filmed short. Hailed by mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner as “the best high-altitude climber in the world,” House is known for his minimalist approach, using as little gear as possible, a style that he says yields the richest results. After a near-fatal climbing accident in 2010, House adjusted his priorities to focus less on his own climbing goals and more on his roles as husband, mentor, writer and advocate for mountain environments. It is this more developed character that shines through in Shattered — but the ice climbing is no less impressive.
- Tyler Stableford