THE TOP OF THE WORLD - An exhilarating documentary about an elite group
of skiers who scale the world's highest mountain, and challenge its most
dangerous slopes, Skiing Everest will screen locally in limited theatrical
release at Century Center Cinema (2828 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657) on
December 2, starting at 7:00 p.m.
Filmed by co-director Mike Marolt over ten years, Skiing
Everest follows a group of close friends, led by Marolt and his twin brother
Steve, who grew up in Aspen taking on 14,000-ft. peaks with their father, 1960
Olympic skier Max Marolt. They would go on to ski the treacherous slopes of
Alaska and the world's highest volcanoes in South America before becoming the
first Americans to ski above 8,000 meters (26,247 ft.), tackling the summit of
Shisha Pangma in Tibet in 2000. This led them to the ultimate challenge - Mt.
Everest - skiing without using supplemental oxygen, without employing Sherpas
to carry their gear or hiring guides to help them up the peaks.
Skiing Everest follows the Marolts and their childhood friends, Jim Gile and
Olympic cross-country skier John Calhoun, in what many
people consider the toughest physical challenge on Earth - climbing and skiing
in the "Death Zone" without using bottled oxygen, under weather conditions as
perilous as the thin air, with hidden crevasses and 10,000-ft. sheer faces
that drop into Nepal and Tibet far below.
"It is hard to do anything at such altitudes," wrote Forbes adventure
columnist Jim Clash, "where death lurks at every turn, let alone
ski and survive to tell the tale."
Writer and co-director Les Guthman, who produced three of the "Top 20
Adventure Films of All Time" according to Men's Journal
magazine, was drawn to the Marolts' story. "The reason I decided to make
Skiing Everest with Mike was my deep respect for the skiers' approach to these
expeditions, which are magnificent human adventures in the purest sense," says
Guthman. "These guys remind us of what adventure really is, in an era when
words and concepts have become cheap commodities."
The film also tells the history of high-altitude skiing, dating back to the
1930s, and includes interviews with Hans Kammerlander, the first to ski from
the summit of Everest; Laura Bakos, the first woman to
ski from the summit of an 8,000-meter peak, and Chris Davenport, the two-time
world extreme skiing champion and avid ski mountaineer.
Written by Les Guthman, and directed by Mike Marolt and Les
Guthman, Skiing Everest is a production of Montezuma Basin Productions, XPLR
Productions and West Post Digital. The executive producers are Jeanne
Andlinger and Jack Jacobs. The producers are Mike Marolt, Les Guthman and
Kenny Fields. The director of photography is Mike Marolt. The editor is Les
Guthman. The composer is Richard Horowitz.
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