Don Quixote fans will appreciate Meru! I’m by no means a “couch potato,” but I am a “downhill guy.” I like Gondolas and chairlifts when I go up a mountain. I don’t even like cross-country skiing. Apparently, there are many others who are wired differently. I had never heard of Mt. Meru, but some tout it as a much more difficult climb than Mt Everest.
This documentary is about a team of 3 elite wall climbers, (Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Oztruk) who “dream the impossible dream” of scaling the “Shark’s Fin” peak of Mount Meru, which had defeated every attempt to climb it before! The film documents the numerous obstacles they faced and the perseverance necessary to undertake and possibly succeed in this “mission impossible.”
Directed and produced by Jimmy Chin, along with spectacular and breathtaking cinematography of the Himalayas by Chin and Oztruk, one gets a “bird’s-eye view” of rock-climbing at its finest. We don’t learn much about what makes these guys tick, except that they “have to do it or go crazy,” but they are made of “the right stuff.” I imagine succeeding in a nearly-impossible climb makes one feel like Neil Armstrong did when he stepped on the moon, except one has triumphed via one’s skill, effort, perseverance, and intelligence, without help from sophisticated technology.
To be a successful climber you must take “controllable risks,” and, if you cross the line, you will probably die. The vexing problem is that risk isn’t controllable much of the time.
The next time I get discouraged, I will think about this film. Compared to what these guys faced, just about any difficult situation in my life will be a day at the beach!