40 Days at Base Camp Trailer (2011)

Dianne Whelan grew up with a picture of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay standing on top of Everest in her bedroom. She loved the story of a man from the East and a man from the West, working together to achieve a common goal, and how they would never say who stepped on the highest peak in the world first. Since that time, 5,000 people have made the summit of the Holy Mother. Thousands more arrive at base camp every year, for reasons ranging from hubris to patriotism. At 17,600 feet your body is actually dying. The atmosphere has only 50 per cent of the oxygen we enjoy at sea level. Base camp is at the bottom of the Khumbu glacier, so you are waking, eating and sleeping on ice, 24 hours a day.

The documentary centres around several characters in this elite yet rag tag community, from hard core mountaineers to recreational hikers with the $45,000 to $90,000 it takes to fulfill their dream. Or die trying. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone, with altitudes higher than 8,000 metres, that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes, and others are revealed at base camp as the glacier melts. Whelan brings a photographer's eye and a storyteller's ear to this inhuman environment and returns with a revealing look at the men and women who take on mountains.

1 min 47 sec


Posted On
September 27, 2011
Dianne Whelan

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October 11, 2011
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