Mount Everest may be the tallest and most famous mountain on Earth, but most serious climbers agree that K2 is the most challenging peak a mountaineer can attempt, a far trickier and more demanding ascent than its more celebrated rival. A large number of experienced climbers have tried and failed to reach the top of K2, and in the summer of 2008, one expedition ended in tragedy when, after eighteen members of an international party of twenty-four reached the top of K2, eleven of them died while making their way back to the base. Filmmaker Nick Ryan
offers an intimate look at this ill-fated mission in the documentary The Summit
, which uses interviews, newsreel footage, and re-enactments to demonstrate what went wrong, and how one climber, Ger McDonnell, may have lost his life in a valiant effort to save the lives of his comrades. The Summit
received its American premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.