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 to their 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.
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!
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.
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 enjoyed this movie especially the footage of the Kham area of Tibet. I would have rated it 5 star but every spare second of the film had the climber's narration. An example was at one point they were hiking thru deep snow with their packs on. It was obvious from watching that they were getting tired, but they had to narrate the entire scene so each of the climbers said basically the same thing that they were hiking thru deep snow and they were exhausted. Then the film maker decides to interview each of them afterward where they recollect how hard it was to hike thru the deep snow. Ridiculous it was obvious to the viewer what was happening! They had to talk about what they were doing every single second and it really ruined the mood of the film. I felt like turning off the sound halfway just to enjoy the scenery and the meditative beauty of the area without their constant babble.
I watched this in three parts like a miniseries, like reading a book. It is rich in the adventure of just getting to the mountain, the culture of the area, the exploration as much as the climbing. It all comes together well and you understand the satisfaction they experienced. It reminds me of Messner's Crystal Horizon, his account of his solo climb of Everest. Much of that book is the exploration, the introspection, the mental side of the climb that takes on it's own religious quality. If you like that sort of thing, you will enjoy this. If you want Wham Bam thank you Moun-tain, seek something else.
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!