After making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, The Summit hits theaters on October 4, giving viewers some insight into a tragedy on K2, the Chinese mountain considered to be the most dangerous in the world. Nick Ryan directs this documentary that explores what happened on August 1, 2008, when 11 climbers lost their lives in a single day.
K2, commonly known as Savage Mountain, is an extension of the northwestern Himalayan Mountain range and is located in the remote region between Pakistan and China. With an unprecedented fatality rate of one in four climbers, it has rightfully earned the title of the second most murderous mountain. But with any high risk sport comes the love of the challenge, and in August 2008 22 climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished into thin air. Like a horror movie come to life, it was as if the mountain began stealing lives, one climber at a time. The Summit is a seamless pastiche of the climbers' firsthand footage, after-the-fact interviews and reenactments. It plays like an engaging narrative film as it focuses on the mystery behind one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell, who was left behind in the death zone as his best friend searched in vain to find him, rescuing several others. As the legend surrounding McDonnell and the ten others grows, fearless new climbers are drawn to test themselves against the deadliest mountain on Earth.