The idea for the movie is based on the life of Hans Kammerlander, his greatest accomplishments, and tragedies.
Since 1996 Hans Kammerlander holds the record for the fastest ascent on the north route to the summit of Mount Everest in 16 hours and 40 minutes, followed by the first ski decent from the highest mountain in the world. This outstanding achievement made him world famous. Hans Kammerlander experienced his most painful moment in 1991 at the Manaslu in Nepal, where he tragically lost two of his best friends. For some inexplicable reasons one fell and broke his neck, the other one was struck by lightning and instantly killed. Hans, who was also in acute danger of life, survived the storm on the brink of death. Due to the burning oil fields in Kuwait in 1991, particles in the atmosphere even reached the Himalaya, which led to high voltage electric fields even at high altitudes.
In 2012, Stephan Keck, an experienced climber and skier from Tyrol and also known as the organizer of the “SOS Nepal Hilfe”, was one of the expedition leaders at the Manaslu in this year and had to witness a catastrophic avalanche in which 12 lives were lost. A very dramatic experience for him, additional he had to document the misfortune for the insurance company. The goal of Hans Kammerlander and his partner Stephan Keck is to return to the Manaslu in autumn 2017 to climb the 8163 meters high summit and eventually descend a new route by skies. After 26 years, this ascent does not only challenge Hans Kammerlander but confronts him with the tragedy from 1991, which he has not been able to overcome yet. Not least he gave up being one of the firsts who have climbed all the eight-thousanders without oxygen because of this experience.
The movie tries to reflect the image of a men who has dedicated his life to the mountains, suffered great losses, experienced tragedies and great triumphs.
A man who keeps asking himself, “Why did I survive and most of my friends had to die?”. Kammerlander’s childhood as a son of a mountain farmer and a half-orphan has shaped his character. “If I do not have sponsorships anymore, if nobody wants to see my lectures anymore, if I do not have the necessary financial means anymore, I want to go home to the farm of my family. There, in the cowshed and in the hay, I always felt the happiest. And I can always return to where I came from with a light heart and without any loss.”
The story tries to unbiasedly scrutinize how the mountains still attract him despite all of the tragic moments he had to surrender. A biopic of one of the greatest mountaineers of our time, represented with archive footage and with the help of many actors in reenacted scenes on exposed mountains or his childhood home farm.
However, the climax of the movie takes place in the here and now and documents the last great adventure of Hans Kammerlander at the 8163 meters high mountain Manaslu in the Himalaya.