Among the last unclimbed peaks on earth there stands a little-known mountain in a remote region of China. A climbing expedition makes three attempts over the span of three years to summit the 6060-meter Yangmolong Mountain. Threatened by local villagers, challenged by unpredictable weather and dangerous rock and ice falls, the climbers must decide whether to give up or commit fully to the quest.
Just to be clear, they most certainly DO film the summit. They show video of the spectacular view of this previously unseen summit along with still shots of the team from the top. Four world class climber died attempting to conquer this mountain. These three climbers were very talented technically, brave and persevered to beat this treacherous mountain. Who knows if any climber teams will ever summit It again. Don't listen to the reviews bagging on this documentary, it's history making. Don't listen to the reviewer saying "they don't show the summit." I guess they weren't paying attention. If you love mountain climbing, add this to your collection of must sees.
To Be First can take three years in accomplishing the feat. And to see it through the work of Tim Boelter and his amazing fellow climbers really gives them respect and admiration. Beautiful filming, editing and subject matter with life and death close calls with falling rocks and ice make this adventure a 10+. Add to it learning about other cultures and lifestyles really adds to the beauty of this film. Well done to the extreme.
Interesting movie about 4 men's quest to be first to climb a mountain. The good, the bad, the funny and the painful over the few years they spent to be the first. Enjoyable journey of man's attempt to overcome what nature has installed as challenges. Insight into something that I only had a vague overview before this movie. Informative of the technology challenges, personal challenges and logistics to undertake their quest. The stories of their personal challenges are interesting and insightful. Some amazing photography especially considering the conditions and added work & stress to do the video in the midst of the pure physical challenges they faced. I'll watch it again to pick up details that I missed in the first viewing.
True life account of another died in the wool, type (A) personality, true blue mountain climber, and his 3 buddies, ( 2 faithful climbers and the unseen climber/cameraman), as they attempt to climb an as of yet unclimbed mountain.\ This held my interest, because of it's depth of experience without glam. You, the audience, are just as uncertain as the film makers, as to what will happen next. Of course they knew the outcome by the time they compiled the footage, but at the time of filming, everything was real and unexpected, as a true adventure can be. This is the central lesson; Twists and turns abound in real projects like this, even though plans are carefully laid out. So, to end a endless review....there is a life lesson learned, and Good for them for recording this long process!
One of the first images is the definition of the word "Quest." The movie sure lives up to it's title. Dramatic, well-written and balanced it's not just for climbers and those interested in climbing movies. I particularly liked the cultural references, the authentic respect the climbers had for the mountain, the region and the people, and, lastly, it was nice to see the Asian climbing partners given full airtime and equal standing. Everest grabs most of the climbing attention but this movie had everything. Loved it!
I thought this was an honest and straight forward presentation of the drive these individuals had to achieve their goal. Clearly they are exceptionally skilled and have remarkable endurance but it takes even more than that to survive Mother Nature when she turns on you. The protagonists were honest about their disappointments and mistakes. And they gave great emphasis to the rewards of experiencing another culture and being allowed to be part of traditions that most of us will never see. I thought it this film, including the marvelous musical background, to be very rewarding.
Great mountaineering film. They did a pretty decent job of distilling a three year project into a compelling hour and a half.
I think better than any similar film I've watched this gives some sense of why alpinists do what they do: there is so much to the journey that the summit is just a pretext for the experiences to be had getting there. Meru did a really great job of display Conrad, Jimmy, and Renan's humanity. To Be First does an equally good job of putting the mountaineers quest on display.
If you like climbing/mountaineering movies, this one's for you. The film features rock climbing as well as mountaineering and some interesting cultural experiences with the Tibetan people along the way. The only detractor is that the film drags on in parts like a bad home video that just includes too many scenes that may have been riveting to Tim Boelter and company, but just aren't dramatic enough to hold a third party's attention. The highlight of the film are the mountaineering sequences and actual summits, so some skipping around/fast forwarding may be necessary during the less exciting parts that really have nothing to do with climbing or mountaineering. Enjoy!