Even within the extreme sport of alpine climbing — a sport many of us would never even think of attempting — there are challenges that stand out. The Shark’s Fin at Meru Peak is one of those.
Located in the Indian Himalayas, it’s a 1,500-foot tall face of solid, sheer, nearly-featureless granite, located over 20,000 feet above sea level.
Legendary outdoors writer Jon Krakauer, himself a veteran of many of the world’s most extreme environments, describes it in raw terms: “It’s defeated so many good climbers, and it will probably defeat you, and maybe will defeat everybody for all time. That, to a certain kind of mindset, is an irresistible appeal.”
These are the stakes laid out early on in “Meru,” a 2015 documentary from Elizabeth Chai and Jimmy Chin, the same directing team that won an Oscar this year for “Free Solo.”
Conrad Anker has the mindset — and the resume — to take on that challenge. The veteran of a previous Meru team, Anker is a noted alpinist.
In 1999, he led an expedition that located the long-missing body of George Mallory, one of the first men to attempt an ascent of Mount Everest. He’s summited Everest “four or five times” himself.
Anker has done more than almost anyone in the field of alpine climbing, which he himself describes as “the most dangerous professional sport.”
But Meru Peak is no Mount Everest. It’s worse.
Meru is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Read the story at Decider.
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