Plenty of films show rush after rush after rush. Skiers and snowboarders score one sick, gnarly line after the next. It’s refreshing to see the uphill effort.
Right-sized, “The Denali Experiment” emphasizes earning it. Before a team of sponsored zealots can whoosh down from 20,230 feet, the highest place in North America, they had to trudge with mountaineering packs for five days just to reach the bottom of the climb.
The youngest member of the team, who worried about pushing too hard and altitude sickness, intoned with respect, “I never had to try that hard to accomplish anything before.” Another hot shot suggested that the “radical self-reliance” he experienced at Burning Man served as preparation. Then he noted that he should have done a little more training. One of the leaders remarked, “It’s good for everybody to suffer a little bit.”
More iconic than exotic, more dedicated than dangerous, the weather mostly cooperated. See “The Denali Experiment” for a photogenic look at an extreme sports team earning the top of Alaska. For more emphasis on the sick and gnarly whoosh at this year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, see films like “Further” and “All.I.Can.”