Filmmaker David Morton in person!

In May of 1963, a team of brave Americans assembled on Mt. Everest in an effort to be the first from the U.S. to stand atop the world’s tallest mountain. Jim Whittaker summited on May 1, planting the American flag for his teammates to see when they reached the top. Whittaker had climbed the traditional South Col route, but two of his comrades—Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld—attempted the daunting, and previously unclimbed, West Ridge. (The duos success is considered one of the most daring climbs in history.) High & Hallowed is primarily the story of the Americans on Everest 50 years ago, but it also incorporates a modern-day attempt on the West Ridge in 2012. The team of Charley Mace, Jake Norton, David Morton and Brent Bishop (son of Barry Bishop, one of the photographers on the 1963 expedition) try their luck, but given the hideous conditions in the Hornbein Couloir, their attempt is unsuccessful. This film, directed by Morton and Norton, mixes the present and past skillfully to tell a tale that spans five decades.

Screening with:

Nasa Koski, Austin Siadak & Matt Van Biene | USA | 2013 | 5m

The number 35 holds a special significance for us this year because 2013 marks our 35th festival, so a film with this title is particularly apt. Of course it takes more than a good title to get into this festival, and this poetic reflection by a man turning 35 qualifies. It also captures the rootsy spirit of those who choose to be part of a community that prefers to be outdoors.

Keeper of the Mountains
Allison Otto | USA | 2013 | 25m

It’s odd to consider that the one person who has exhaustively tracked, detailed and archived Himalayan expeditions of the past half century is someone who has never climbed a mountain herself. Elizabeth Hawley has interviewed thousands of expedition leaders and is a force of nature every bit as impressive and indefatigable as any alpinist, but she has never been interested in joining them on any of the routes that she’s come to know intimately in her mind’s eye. This portrait of Miss Hawley reflects the character it chronicles by being direct, sharp and not without a sense of humor. A 2012 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant recipient.