Thursday, 04 October 2012 17:19
Published in TV & Video News

The deadliest day on the worlds most dangerous mountain. Premiering at the London Film Festival. Trailer for the feature documentary below.

The Summit was produced by Image Now Films and Pat Falvey Productions, in association with Passion Pictures, Diamond Docs and Fantastic Films. It is also funded by Irish Film Board, RTE, BAI and BBC Storyville.

Directed and produced by Nick Ryan.

It has been chosen to screen as part of the official competition for a London Film Festival Grierson Award for Best Documentary.

" I would like to send a personal thanks to all the team in the production of this film. Also to all who participated in being a part of this amazing story and for the support given by all of the families and climbers in the making of this film,  The Summit."  - Pat Falvey

Tuesday, 02 August 2011 19:04
Published in Expedition Blog

In Memory Of Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae: This week we remember our good friends Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae who died on K2, August 2nd, 2008. From their family and friends we have lost two great lovable people. Our thoughts are with their families.

Thoughts of Ger and Rolf:

I just can't believe that three years have gone by since Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae have passed away on K2.  This has had a huge effect on my thinking of the risks we take, especially when it goes to those that we leave behind and our families in particular.  Yet we as adventurers would not be who we are unless we follow our dreams and passions. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of those that we love that understand the passion that we have or had as adventurers. This week I celebrate all the good memories of working, climbing and adventuring with two of the most gentle climbers I have known. I think about their families and how much they miss them. I have lost 14 friends on high altitude mountains over 8,000 meters, but none has effected me as much as the death of Ger and Rolf. They are gone to a more heavenly place, they are missed and yes their memory continues on in those of us who knew them. May they R.I.P and never be forgotten.

Pat Falvey




Monday, 01 August 2011 12:29
Published in Current Projects


Irish adventure based film makers, Image Now Films (Dublin) and Pat Falvey Productions (Kerry) achieved a new world record of filming from a helicopter on K2 the second Highest mountain in the World to almost 8,000 meters which is known to climbers as The Death Zone.

'The Summit' film crew reach a new altitude record for aerial filming in a helicopter. Flying to an altitude of 23,500 feet (7,162m) on K2, Nick Ryan operated the Cineflex camera system mounted to the Pakistani Army Ecuriel helicopter, filming aerial footage of the shoulder above Camp 4 and the Serac.  Stephen O'Reilly in the backup helicopter reached an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620m) from where he photographed the mountain.

The Summit: A film about the deadliest day on the worlds most dangerous mountain. The story of the death of 11 climbers on the ill-fated 2008 expedition to the summit of K2.

An epic journey, starting in Islamabad, the crew which consisted of Nick Ryan (director/producer), Stephen O'Reilly (Production manager/Camera), Mike Wright (Camera/Aviation engineer) and Nisar Malik (Pakistan co-ordinator), drove up the Karakorum Highway with 400kg of equipment to Skardu.

With the co-operation of the Pakistan Army Aviation Wing (5th Squadron), they flight tested the Cineflex equipment on Friday 22nd July and carefully observed the notorious weather patterns around K2. Monday the 25th was selected as a flight date, and the crew left the base at Skardu at 7.00am on the 50 minute flight to Paiju and then on to K2 where the mountain was completely clear, enabling the filming of some incredible aerial footage on the Cineflex Hi-Definition system (used extensively in the BBC series Planet Earth).

On behalf of all our production team we want to congratulate Nick and all on the ground in Pakistan for their amazing commitment and dedication of creating the final sequence of shots for our new film "The Summit".

This week we commemorate Ger and Rolf's passing three years ago. May they R.I.P. Their friendship and love are still with us, all of us that had the privilege of being part of their amazing lives.  Nick, was very emotional when speaking to him over the weekend as he gave account of this amazing feat. 

"We were incredibly lucky to get the weather to see the mountain, as mostly you will see either the top or the bottom of it, but not both. The light was fantastic, and winds low enough for safe flight and allow us to reach such great altitudes. The pilots are amongst the very best in the world and their knowledge of the region enabled this incredible journey. Their assistance and collaboration on the planning of the mission was fantastic. After three years of studying K2 in photos and video, to actually cast your eyes on the mountain was quite a moment. The shear scale of the mountain is breath-taking. To look down on the slopes of the south-east face and realise the climbers who never made it back are still resting there, was an emotional experience for me."

"We are all delighted and are looking forward to seeing some spectacular footage from K2. Nick goes into the final stages of putting all the content together over the coming months and from what I have seen so far, the film is going to be gripping.  It tells an amazing story."

"The Summit" is a story of the struggle of man against the mountain. The cost of living in the god foresaken place known to climbers as the "Death Zone" the heroic events of a day that cost the lives of 11 climbers that struggled in the thin air of the world's secpnd highest mountain, K2.

For the first time ever the events are reconstructed by the unsung heroes of mountaineering history  - the talented Sherpas, told through interviews by those on the mountain on that ill fated day.

It will tell of Ger McDonnell a young and talented Irish climber who was the first Irish man to summit K2, the worlds most treacherous mountain on the 1st/2nd of August, 2008. He was killed on the descent whilst attempting to rescue two Koreans and Sherpa Jumik.

Pat Falvey

Executive Producer

Image Now Fims (Dublin) and Pat Falvey Productions (Kerry) due for film release towards the end of 2011/early 2012.

TV Release 2013

DVD Release Late 2013.

This film is done in association with The Irish Film Board, RTE and The BBC.


For more information, contact us here at



Tuesday, 05 October 2010 13:08

Here is a link for anyone who didn't see last night's Ger McDonnell Nationwide Special. Recommended viewing with a great insight to Gerard's life and how he left a mark on everyone he met.


For more in formation on this or any of Pat's projects - please contact us here at


Thursday, 29 June 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Well done Mick and John...

Report by Alan Arnette

We had three more summits last night. John Dowd, Mick Murphy and Marcus Dell all made the true summit of Broad Peak in somewhat difficult conditions.

The three left from Camp 4. As I have been reporting the snow is very deep from Camp 4 to the Col and then lighter on the summit ridge on the way to the true summit. By working together they broke trail and reestablished the route that Ryan, JJ ands the HAPs had previously put in. The weather has been intermittent with snow squalls and high winds but this team found a gap allowing them to scramble to the summit and back safely.

As I write this, they are returning to the lower camps from Camp 4. There were cheers in BC for all these summitters as they are the first non-professionals to make the summit from any team in 2006. Also there were cheers for John and Mick being the first Irish to summit a Karakorum 8000m mountain in history. Well done lads. There is still time for the rest of the team climbing Broad Peak but it is clear everyone needs to work together to summit this year. The current plan is to establish the K2 Base Camp around July 12 and stop climbing Broad Peak then. Congratulations to all our summitters! Climb On! Alan


Monday, 10 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

SMS from Satphone - Con Collins on the Expedition this morning: 'Mick, J Dowd and 2 others going for the summit now...' Reports are of excellent weather at the moment in the area. As a mark of respect we have withdrawn the image that was previously here.


Wednesday, 26 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

According to team Netherlands the Italian expedition led by Nives Meroi and Romano Benet are now at camp 4 today- Pending weather conditions and how the team are feeling they will be making a summit attempt tonight. If successful this will be the first of the season.

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments


Climbers on the move to camp 4 taken with telescope (c) Wilco

Tuesday, 18 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

The push is about to start for the summit of K2.
The tension will be high for all that follow the progress of Ger, Mick and all the other teams on K2 over the coming weeks.

Having climbed with Ger and Mick over the years I have great confidence in their ability to succeed safely on what is one of the most exciting mountains in the world. They also have the courage and sense to turn if the need arises, one of the greatest qualities in a high altitude mountaineer. Ger and Mick have the strength, the confidence, a self belief and a continous positive attitude to pull this off if the mountain gives them a fair chance with the weather.

It’s at times like this that I get excited myself and wish that I to could be on the ascent with them.

Pat Falvey

Update from
This is an update from the Wilco’s web site who is climbing with Ger and Mick.

I love it when a plan comes together!
UPDATE Tuesday July 18th.
We are very pleased to know that so many English speaking readers are following our website. First we would like to thank all of you for the encouragement you gave the climbing teams. They have been reading your messages and they give them strength.
The teams will start tomorrow morning wednesday 19th. They will climb to ABC.

Thursday they will climb from ABC to camp 1. Team1: Ryan, Gerard, Mich and Wilco will proceed on Friday towards camp 2. On Saturday they will be in camp 3 and Sunday morning they will go for Camp 4. Very early on Mondaymorning (01.00hr local time) they will start their summit push. That last part wil be a round trip of approx. 17 hrs.
Today the team discovered the remains of Renato Casarotto, a very famous Italian solo climber who died tragically on descent. They found some remains and some artifacts. They informed the Italian Expedition who will decide what to do. Most likely they will decide the same as the Italian Expedition in 2004. Transport the remains to Gikey memorial and bury them there. You can read more about Renato and his tragic death here:

If you want you can enter our contest. Send an email with the date and time you think Wilco, Gerard, Mich and Ryan will reach the summit . The address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The first prize is a beautiful carrying bag from The North Face.
Until next time.

Further reports on explorers web..


Monday, 26 June 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Ger McDonnell is going for the summit on Broad Peak in preparation for K2 with Mick Murphy. Con Collins, John Dowd are moving up today to camp 3 or 4 as far as we can make out from Alan's report below.

I fully admit that I will leave BC tomorrow morning not fully confident I can make it. All I can do is my best. The bug still lives inside me with some recent developments but I will spare you the details. However at some point you have to jump into the water. I am inspired by the performance of Ryan, JJ and our three High Altitude Porters. To clarify, the three HAPs stood at the base of the last 100' climb and choose not to stand on the true summit. This is quite common in Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan and other countries where it is viewed as disrespectful to stand completely on a mountain summit.

So to be sure, these three HAPs all summitted Broad Peak. I packed my gear this afternoon in a mood of excitement, uncertainty and confidence. I am excited to get back on the Hill. There have been moments when I have not but now I am and it feels good. I am uncertain due to what has gone on inside my body as well as my previous performance above 23000'. In consultation with my doctor and a recent MPH graduate from UCLA and and undergrad from CAL in infectious diseases (thanks Ashley :-) ); I am told that if I was home they would have put me on limited activity and a solid well balanced diet and few more drugs to wipe this bug out for at least 30 days.

Well, obviously, I am not under that regiment! But you have to do what you can do so off I go. I leave confident because I have been in this situation before. I have pushed my body hard, too hard often, and know what it feels like. I am confident that I will know if and when it is time to turn around. Simply put I will not put myself nor my teammates at risk just to stand on the summit. A year and half ago, I had no idea this idea would turn into the reality it has. As you can tell from the dispatches thus far, this is a unique team.

With eight nationalities, a wide age and mountaineering experience range, there is a common love of mountains, adventure and challenge that bonds us together. Yes, there have been a few spats, that was expected but again the common bond has kept everything in check and the focus is on the common goal. When we got the word that some of the team had summitted, a spontaneous cheer erupted from the cooks to the water boy to the climbers to the Pakistani Military Liaison Officers. Yes everyone wants to see success and is putting their all into making it happen. Tonight all the porters from the other expeditions will gather at our camp about dark.

They will sing and dance and celebrate the success of their own and our expedition's first summit. The pride runs deep in this poor country. Opportunities to celebrate are rare these days and this will be a big one. Perhaps I will leave day after tomorrow! So as I prepare to go up the Hill, I ask for all your positive energy for me and my teammates. Wilco and Gerrard are making their bid tonight. More climbers tomorrow and more later. We will move from camp to camp higher up the Hill and make the final bid from Camp 4. The whole process will take 4 or 5 days. This is why we are here. This is when the test really begins. There are a thousand reasons to stop and only a few to push on. And those are personal and unique to each climber. Please accept our love of mountaineering. Please accept our result regardless of what it is. Please know that this is what makes us alive, it is the fuel that drives us on an individual level. We miss our families deeply. Make no mistake. We thank you all for your support. We will see you soon. Climb on! Alan Arnette


Sunday, 25 June 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Report by Alan Arnette

After yesterday's summit by Ryan and the route now fixed, I am sure everyone is curious where their friends or family are currently located and how they are doing. With a couple of climbers who asked not to be noted here is a list of where they are, their highest camp reached and an * indicates they are heading towards the summit.

Remember that in general climbers need to have slept at C2 for a couple of nights and returned to BC before going for the summit. Also climbers will usually carry a load of food, HA clothes to the high camps before returning to BC for some rest and then their summit bid. As you look at the list also remember it was created at 9:00 AM June 26 and climbers were moving up (and down) today so this is a snapshot. As for future plans everyone has their own plan but most everyone will be starting a summit bid this week with a couple of exceptions. The weather continues to look good but perhaps a change for the weekend. Broad Peak has impressed us all with her difficulty. The average climb times between Camps ranges from 4 to 8 hours with summit day a solid 12 minimum. This year, in spite of no snow during our time here, Broad has a lot of deep snow above Camp 3. The bright sun has baked the slopes and ice is beginning to show where the snow is blown away. Climbing on a 50 degree slope with solid ice is difficult. The Austrian and Australian teams were on the Hill several weeks before us and had not summitted before Ryan did. They had put in a lot of good work but no fixed lines. Their knowledge of the route up high was valuable and appreciated as was their willingness to share tents but it shows the difficulty of the conditions that they have not summitted as of today. The altitude of our camps: BC 15660' 4800m C1 19100' 5800m C2 20460' 6200m C3 23430' 7100m C4 24750' 7500m CLIMBER CURRENT HIGHEST Ian BC C2 Di BC C2 Mark BC C3 Nick BC C2 Alan BC C2 John R BC C2 Kurt C1 C1 Carl C1 C1 Marcus* C2 C3 Mick* C2 C3 Con* C1 C2 John* C2 C3 Gerrard* C2 C3 Wilco* C2 C3 JJ C2 Summit Ridge Ryan C2 Summit Matt C1 C1+ Jan C2 C2 Climb on!Alan
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