I have no clue how this started but all I know is that I am stuck in it now, and it will end soon I presume…or should I say I hope…
Working on a movie takes a lot : time, efforts, researches, contacts, transactions, focus, thoughts, imagination and the more preparation you have, the best it is when comes the time to press the rec button. However even if fully prepared you can’t buy the success.
Some time ago I heard a speleologist on the radio in a very interesting interview that started with : ” what I like about my job, our should I call it condition, is that I must know when to give up. And I give up far more often than reaching my goal “. Quite surprising statement …
With time passing and slowly getting older, I must admit that my first sport passions that were basketball and beach volleyball are replaced by a long time forgotten passion : hiking, trekking and every possible mountain activity. So less running after a ball but more climbing up the hills and hoping to reach some summits.
After coming back from shootings, I am sometimes quite tired, and the last times I arrived home, I had a quick meal and then while loading and “backuping” the data ( I miss the tapes !!), I went on some internet surfing and looked on for nice summit images. It lead me to , of course, from one mountain to another to virtually reach the top of the world : the Everest. But after the traditional National Geographic on how it was created, you enter what is as well a sort of dead zone : the mountaineering reality shows.
And there is a scale of emptiness to sort them out. As well as you are having less oxygen the higher you get, the brain of tv spectators suffers from hypoxia the deeper you go into the concepts.
I used to work for a leading sportswear and great outdoors company some years ago. It was a childhood’s dream to work ifor it – being emotionally attached to the brand – and If by then I wouldn’t have suffered from a severe health issue, I am sure my path back to a sort of mountaineering would have matured faster. A key word by then was – in 2009 – that sportswear items are taking over the flat grounds and every day’s life.
DIscovery channel followed from 2006 to 2009 (if not mistaken) climbers that were attempting the top of the Everest. Those alpinists pay approximately 70.000 USD and a guide’s organisation takes care of all. They are assessed by the leader if they can make it or not. Nobody votes via phones, you just follow those guys in their adventure.A standard documentary ? Not really….more a reality documentary show with dramatic music and stereotyped characters. But no overwhelming camera system.
Having watched that , I moved onto another continent to see about the highest point in America : the Aconcagua. And what has been my surprise when I saw a tv program called : “el conquistador del Aconcagua”. To make it short and simple, it is a survival reality show where a couple of chosen ones will attempt a final push to the summit….after going through tests, nominations and eliminations….
None of the candidates has experience in mountaineering and only a couple seem to have a genuine interest into such activities…
I thought I was already out of breath, but I realized that my own personal climb would lead me to some extreme conditions : “Los Trepadores” or a chilean big brother stuffed with top models, pop singers and young overbreasted brainless people. Here it is simple : over 4 months they ll train them and some that would survive the boot camp might try to reach the summit. Their guide, a chilean experienced mountaineer that climbed the Everest in the 80s told them the most beautiful sentence ever : ” When climbing a mountain, you embrace a total freedom that you don’t have in any other sport ; no referees, no audience. Only one rule : it is all about you and the mountain ”
For now those people are parked in a base camp, far far away from their target in low altitude, with jacuzzi, free food and drinks, outdoor showers to film girls in bikinis…well just another big brother….
Often guides say that the mountain doesn’t belong to anyone – and it is good to see more people sharing the passion of going up there. Everyone has a different reason for doing it and all became far more accessible than it used to be in the past….
6962 m above sea level…for almost everyone ?
by the way, “Trepadores” dictionary definition is :” people who use any possible way to climb up to a new range….translation in english is “go-getter” or “place-seeker”….