EOFT 16/17


©Renan Ozturk

Down To Nothing

When you’ve conquered the world’s highest peak what else is there to aim for? That doesn’t necessarily mean other objectives are easier to achieve, as Hilaree O’Neill finds out trying to tackle her “anti-Everest”. Together with Mark Jenkins, Emily Harrington, Cory Richards and Renan Ozturk, the American alpinist wants to climb what is said to be the highest peak of Southeast Asia – for nobody knows exactly how high Hkakabo Razi really is. To try and find out, the whole expedition crew makes the long, arduous journey through the north of Myanmar. Setting out from Rangoon, the team boards a rickety old train, then has to put their faith in a gang of dodgy-looking motorbikers to ferry them along muddy roads, followed by a 10-day jungle hike. As Hkakabo Razi comes into view it’s clear the exotic approach has already taken its toll. A good deal of equipment and food had to be left behind. And with every metre gained in altitude it becomes more and more obvious, that it’s not just hunger that’s sapping team morale. Uncertainty, frustration and disappointment fuelled by painful memories mean that, by the time they reach high camp, the success of the expedition hangs in the balance.

Film information

Length: 30 min (EOFT edit)
Direction: Renan Ozturk
With: Hilaree O'Neill, Mark Jenkins, Emily Harrington, Cory Richards, Renan Ozturk, Taylor Rees
Production: Camp 4 Collective, USA, 2015
©Camp 4 Collective

When We Were Knights

Matt Blank and Ian Flanders: Are they two modern knight fighting boredom? Or are they just devoted to a very risky sport, always looking for the next kick? Hardly likely. What connects both Wingsuit Basejumpers is not their preference for self-destruction, but a deep friendship that has been cemented over the course of many years: on base jumps and countless weekend trips, next to steep cliffs and wild parties in the camping van. But when one single jump tears apart their friendship, only one question remains: Was it really worth it?

Film information

Length: 11 min
Direction: Anson Fogel
With: Ian Flanders, Matt Blank
Production: Camp4Collective, USA, 2016
©Martin Hanslmayr

Lunag Ri

When he closes his eyes and thinks of Nepal, snow-capped mountains aren’t what first comes to David Lamas’ mind. Instead he sees green valleys – and the little village where his father grew up. The Austrian alpinist visited Nepal earlier than most western mountaineers. When he was a toddler his parents used to carry him around on their backs, right now they are following their son with David setting the pace. The family has come to visit his father’s relatives. But for David it’s not the only reason to return to Nepal. This time he is also drawn to the high mountains. Accompanied by American alpine legend Conrad Anker he wants to climb Lunag Ri (6907m), an unclimbed peak with a technically challenging north west ridge. Given David’s light and fast climbing style and Conrad’s vast experience of expedition climbing it shouldn’t be impossible for them to tackle the mountain, but they’ve underestimated the ridge.

Film information

Length: 20 min (EOFT edit)
Direction: Joachim Hellinger, Hans-Peter Stauber
With: David Lama, Conrad Anker
Production: HelliVentures, Germany, 2016
©Ben Marr

Locked In

It’s not their first kayaking expedition, but this time Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic (“Kadoma”, E.O.F.T. 11/12) as well as Ben Marr and Pedro Oliva seem to be stuck in the middle - mentally and geographically. Their goal: becoming the first kayakers to follow the entire Beriman River through the heart of the Papuan jungle, all the way to the Solomon Sea. From above the river looks almost picturesque, a winding turquoise line, but up close there’s no doubt it’s full of pitfalls. In fact, it’s impossible to examine the most critical sections of the river thoroughly - 13 gorges including waterfalls and Class 5 wild water - before actually running them. That means every member of the expedition must totally trust their own abilities, and those of the team. Everyone knows: There’s no return ticket on this trip. Once they launch their kayaks onto the Beriman River, there’ll only be one way out of the gorge. And it lies 48 kilometres downstream.

Film information

Length: 18 min (EOFT edit)
Direction: Bryan Smith, David Pearson
With: Ben Stookesberry, Chris Korbulic, Ben Marr, Pedro Olivia
Production: Reel Water Productions, USA, 2016
©Ben Ditto

The Adventures of the Dodo

They call themselves „The Wild Bunch“: Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll, Ben Ditto and brothers Olivier and Nicolas Favresse. They love climbing big walls and they love to celebrate their first ascents with a spontaneous jam session on a mountain peak or a portaledge. Even if their backpacks are heavy, there’s always room for a flute or a mandolin… This time the experienced climbing quartet has signed up for a sailing trip to Baffin Island on the “Dodo’s Delight”. After a rough start in Greenland and daunting journey through Baffin Bay, „The Wild Bunch“ and their captain Reverend Bob Shepton finally reach the big walls of Baffin Island. The climbers can’t wait to get hold of real rock and rope again. And the captain and his “Dodo” enjoy their well-earned moment of peace down in the bay while the crew is up on the walls - looking for first ascents and good acoustics.

Film information

Length: 25 min
Direction: Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll, Josh Lowell, Nick Rosen, Peter Mortimer
With: Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll, Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Ben Ditto, Bob Shepton
Production: Reel Rock Film Tour, USA, 2016
© Manfred Stromberg


It’s not racing downhill on his mountain bike that makes Harald Philipp smile. Nor does he care whether he adds the most dangerous jumps and turns to his trails. When he’s on his bike on a via ferrata in the Dolomites, he is hunting something else: flow. That special state of being where everything just fits, when confidence overrides fear and the bike and rider are one. What exactly is this perfect moment? How do we reach it? And can you only find it on a mountain bike? Harald has found his answer – and we are invited to join the ride.

Film information

Length: 10 min
Direction: Christian Schmidt, Joachim Hellinger
With: Harald Philipp
Production: HelliVentures, Germany, 2016
©Tero Repo

La Liste

A mountain face that other freeskiers consider to be “too steep to ride” – that’s where the fun begins for Jérémie Heitz. At a speed of 120 kilometres per hour the Swiss steep skier races down to the bottom of the valley, taking wide turns on a 55 degree slope. From above his moves might look relaxed, but fear is hot on his heels. Good for him that it always beats it to the finish line. This winter he has put together a list of his favourite 15 four-thousanders, including the Ober Gabelhorn and the Zinalrothorn. Is it possible to ride them all in one season?

Film information

Length: 8 min (EOFT edit)
Direction: Guido Perrini
With: Jérémie Heitz, Sam Anthamatten
Production: Timeline Missions, Switzerland, 2016