Friday, November 6, 2009

Mount St. Elias Film Presentation at Torello's Film Festival

From November 13th to 22nd Torelló will host the 27th Edition of the Caixa Sabadell Mountain Film Festival. The Film Festival is one of the most important meetings of this kind in Spain and one of the best in the world with thousands of spectators gathering in Torelló each year.

Mount St. Elias (directed by Gerald Salmina)
Torelló, November 17th, 21:00

Story Line: A dramatic and awe-inspiring feature documentary following three of the world’s greatest ski mountaineers (Two Austrian Axel Naglich and Peter Ressmann and American Jon Jonhston) to the Mount St. Elias in their attempt to realize the longest ski descent of the world. Far away from the civilized world, Mount St. Elias is located in south-eastern Alaska bordering the Yukon Territory. The Canadian side is part of Kluane National Park, while the U.S. side of the mountain is located within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Mount Saint Elias is notable for being the highest peak in the world so close to tidewater.

Back-Story: After a first failed attempt in May, Austrian skiers from Kitzbühel, Axel Naglich and Peter Ressmann, have become the first to ski down Mount St. Elias (5,489 meters) in Alaska on a run of about 20 kilometres, the longest ski descent ever.
The mountain known as "The Man Eater", one of the peaks of the St. Elias Mountains on the Yukon border -the highest coastal range in the world- is a spectacular snow-covered pyramid renowned for its dangerous icy and massive vertical relief, 50 to 60 degrees on upper slopes. A glacial stream runs all the way from the top of Mount St. Elias down into Icy Bay in the Gulf of Alaska.
In 2002, two experienced ski mountaineers, Aaron Martin and Reid Sanders, died attempting the ski descent and their remains are under the ice on a slope near the summit.
On August 9th the team left the base camp on the Haydon Shoulder (3,000 meters) at midnight and climbed, through a loose rock face in the dark to avoid rock fall, to advanced camp (4,300 meters). Next day they left the advanced camp at 7:30 a.m. ascended to the high camp at 4,700 meters preparing the final push. On August 11th Axel Naglich and Peter Ressmann reached the summit at 12:50 p.m. and then, after a 10 minutes rest, began their descent down an unexplored line to avoid the avalanche-prone slope they had ascended. It took the pair less than two hours to ski to high camp, break down camp and continue the ski down to 4,300 meters where they camped. On August 12th the pair left their camp at 2 a.m., repelling down the treacherous rock face before dawn. They arrived back at Haydon Shoulder by noon and within hours had been picked up by the Super Cub airplane, who shuttled them back to Ultima Thule Lodge.
Axel Naglich (39), an architect and extreme skier from Kitzbühel, was already the first to ski down new extreme routes on Mount Cook in New Zealand three years ago and Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus, Europe’s highest mountain, four years ago. He has won the "24 Hours of Aspen" three times and has taken part in both the Red Bull Snowthrill in Chamonix and the X Games twice.
Peter Ressmann, ski guide and ski school owner, has skied China’s 7,500-meter Muztagh Ata as well as the Himalayan giant, 8,125-meter Nanga Parbat. He joined Axel Naglich on two attempts to descend Mount Cook’s as-yet-unskied Caroline face and in 2006 successfully summited and skied 8,047-meter Broad Peak in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range.