James Reed – Executive Producer
Luke Wiles – Writer & Director (Post Production)
Gwyn Williams – Writer & Director (Production)
Malcolm Wood – Producer
filmed over 3 years in the home of mountain sports
A journey through the eyes of two established adventure sports athletes as they overcome loss and injury to achieve exceptional feats in the heart of one of the most dangerous mountains on earth, Mont Blanc. Through their parallel stories we step inside the minds of those who face risk to overcome fear and trauma.
groundbreaking FPV footage
by COLAS FEUILLIE
UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS TO CHAMONIX'S HELICOPTER RESCUE SERVICE
STUNNING VISUALS OF EXTREME SPORTS ON EUROPE'S HIGHEST PEAK
professional steep skier
From growing up at the base of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to becoming a professional skier traveling the globe for big mountain expeditions and competitions, Hadley prefers to explore with skis on her feet. Since she debuted in the Freeride World Tour at age 25-‘old’ for most competitors, she’s gone on to star regularly in ski films-descending mountain faces, all the while representing companies including The North Face on their global athlete team. While her sommelier degree, love for literature, and soft-spoken nature don’t quite match the industry stereotype, Hadley has proved capable of carrying the paradox of grit and grace to the steep faces of the mountains-embracing the duality as she ascends and descends.
As much as the mountains have given her, they’ve taken from her in equal or greater measure. In 2018 she had a debilitating ski crash before a year later suffering the public loss of her boyfriend and world-famous mountaineer David Lama to an avalanche. Hadley has turned to skiing, writing and nature to navigate how to reside within this paradox.
We’ll follow Hadley as she learns to navigate a new life in Chamonix, taking on new a exciting challenges as she works to overcome injury and heartbreak.
With both parents working as ski instructors, Bastien developed a deep respect for the peaks surrounding Chamonix where he grew up. Now he walks the fine line between being a high mountain athlete, and his day job as a mountain rescuer for the PGHM – Chamonix’s elite mountain rescue team. It’s a double life for someone like Bastien who seeks to push his own sport of ‘ski-mountaineering’ to the limit.
In 2016 he set a new record on a classic ski route between Chamonix and Zermatt in Switzerland. Most people take 4-5 days to traverse 109 km and climb 7,859 meters – Bastien did it under 17 hours. Now he’s set himself an immense new challenge – traverse the entire Mont Blanc mountain range in less than 24 hours. In 2012 Bastien watched the partner of legendary trail runner Kilian Jornet, die in an avalanche attempting this feat.
Bastien will need to fit in training alongside his busy work schedule. He’ll need to withstand the mental pressure of conducting intense mountain rescues on a weekly basis, balancing his experiences with the personal challenge he has set. He knows first-hand the turmoil and tragedy for people left behind – and with a serious relationship forming personally, the decisions will weigh heavily. He also knows the risk he will put his own colleagues in if he requires rescue.
We’ll see Bastien grow as a rescuer and character during the months we film with him – as he tackles new elements of the job and learns from his colleagues. It’s a time of change in the PGHM as a new boss takes over and climate change transforms the rescues they undertake.
In recent years Mont Blanc - the highest mountain in the Alps and the cornerstone of modern alpinism and extreme sports has undergone a dramatic and deadly transformation. Increasing temperatures are accelerating glacier and permafrost recession, the very glue which holds the mountain together. Seeing millions of visitors a year on its flanks, the mountains changes have deadly consequences with rock climbers, alpinists, skiers and tourists in the firing line for unprecedented rockfall and instability.
Permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, covers a large area in the Alps and plays a vital role in maintaining the stability of the terrain in mountain landscapes. In the Mont-Blanc massif, 65% of rock faces above 2,300 m are permanently frozen.
With the rise in summer temperatures, the permafrost melts, creating significant instability in rocky terrain. Over the past 20 years, permafrost has disappeared on south-facing rock faces of the Mont-Blanc massif below 3,300 m (10,827 ft). Furthermore, permafrost at temperatures above -2°C can no longer be found below 3,850 m (12,631 ft); and current project that the elevation at which it is present on south faces in the Mont-Blanc Massif may rise up to 4,300 m (14,108 ft) or even disappear completely by 2100.
The increase in temperature, coupled with decreases in summer precipitation, has led to droughts in summer and groundwater shortages. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the reduction in snow cover and can cause water shortages for plants and amphibians during their growth stage.
The effects of climate change on alpine flora and fauna are noticeable and are already contributing to changes in species distribution and abundance, as well as the timing of seasonal events. Will biodiversity be able to adapt to these rapid climate change-related changes in their environment? Combined with habitat disturbance caused by human activities, climate change is the main challenge faced today by plant and animal species.