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 News

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

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

 

 

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 www.patfalvey.com

 

 

Monday, 18 August 2008 00:00

Reports compiled by Pat Falvey and Niall Foley. As you will appreciate news of this source is patchy as we compile news from K2 and other home teams that are now feeding us information as it occurs. We will be doing our best with what is being relayed to be factual as we can be.

other connections for news

http://www.noritk2.nl

www.k2climb.net

www.patfalvey.com

 

Sunday, 03 August 2008 00:00

Update 3rd August 9 PM Irish time:

10 climbers now feared dead on K2 including our beloved Ger McDonnell. We pray for the spirit and soul of Ger. May he rest in peace. Ger's family issues heart rendering statement. Update below on climbers that are missing.

Three climbers die from serac (ice avalanche) fall on 1 August while descending from a successful summit earlier in the day in The Bottle Neck just below the summit ridge and exit to the lower section of K2. This is a technical steep section of the mountain above 8,000 meters (a place known to us climbers as The Death Zone).  The ice avalanche sweeping away the fixed ropes which are used by tired climbers as a handrail to the safety of the lower sections of the mountain and the safety of camp 4.

August 1st/ 2nd: 5 climbers spotted at top of bottle neck above 8,000 meters. Knowing they could not survive in The Death Zone they try to get down the icy slopes of the Bottle Neck unsuccessfully and die. Death toll rises to eight.  Wilco and Marco whose whereabouts on August 1st and 2nd had been reported as unknown, make their way to safety below the bottle neck. Marco making it to camp 4 while Wilco strays onto Camp 3 on the Cessan route. Pemba and Cas who were at camp four receive a request that base camp had seen a lone climber descending on the Cessan route to camp 3. They make their way to see who the lone climber was and by break of day it was confirmed it was Wilco.

August 2nd also, Ger and Hugues position had also been reported as unknown. Fears for their safe return rise. Questions raised for us, included whether they were the other 2 climbers that had gone in the Serac fall on August 1st or if not, where Ger and Hugues position was on the mountain.

Break of day 3rd August. The climbers above Bottle Neck no longer can be seen. As they had not turned up at high camp they to are presumed to have died as they descended the steep icy slope.  These climbers would have realised that they could not have survived The Death Zone much longer if they did not move. They may have decided to take a chance on a treacherous descent.

Also August 3rd, all surviving climbers now at camp 4, are exhausted and need to descend to safety. The rescue attempt in place is down scaled knowing that any climber not accounted for would not survive another night in The Death Zone. A decision is made to get all climbers back to base camp and do a proper head count to see who is missing. Base camp reports returning climbers as they return.

Cecilie and Norwegian climbers descend safely. Wilco suffering from frostbite on feet and Cas suffering from frostbite on hand with Pemba descended to safety of base camp. Present position as we now know it.

August 3rd 9.30 pm. 8 climbers are dead and a further possible 4 need clarification. This can only be done when a head count of all climbers are done at base camp. We are now awaiting a full update from K2 on the position of all climbers which we hope that we will get tomorrow. What started on August 1st as a great celebration of mountaineering success has turned into the worst disaster on K2. Our thoughts and prayers go to all the families that now have climbers not accounted for on K2.

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Sunday, 03 August 2008 00:00

Update 3rd August 9 PM Irish time

10 climbers now feared dead on K2 including our beloved Ger McDonnell.

We pray for the spirit and soul of Ger. May he rest in peace.

Ger's family issues heart rendering statement. 

Update below on climbers that are missing.

3 climbers die from serac (ice avalanche) fall on 1 August while descending from a successful summit earlier in the day in The Bottle Neck just below the summit ridge and exit to the lower section of K2. This is a technical steep section of the mountain above 8,000 meters (a place known to us climbers as The Death Zone.) The ice avalanche sweeping away the fixed ropes that are used by tired climbers as a handrail to the safety of the lower sections of the mountain and the safety of camp 4.


August 1st/ 2nd: 5 climbers spotted at top of bottle neck above 8000 meters. Knowing they could not survive in The Death Zone they try to get down the icy slopes of the Bottle Neck unsuccessfully and die.

Death toll rises to 8

Wilco and Marco whose whereabouts on August 1st and 2nd had been reported as unknown make their way to safety below the bottle neck.

Marco making it to camp 4 while Wilco strays onto Camp 3 on the Cessan route.

Pemba and Cas who were at camp four receive a request that base camp had seen a loan climber descending on the Cessan route to camp 3. They make their way to see who the lone climber was and by break of day it was confirmed it was Wilco.

August 2nd also, Ger and Hugues position had also been reported as unknown. Fears for their safe return rise.

Questions raised for us, included whether they were the other 2 climbers that had gone in the Serac fall on August 1st or if not where Ger and Hugues position was on the mountain.

Break of day 3rd August. The Climbers above Bottle Neck no longer can be seen. As they had not turned up at high camp they to are presumed to have died as they descended the steep icy slope

These climbers would have realised that they could not have survived the Death Zone much longer if they did not move. They may have decided to take a chance on treacherous descent.

Also August 3rd. All surviving climber now at camp 4 are exhausted and need to descend to safety.

The Rescue attempt in place is down scaled knowing that any climber not accounted for would not survive another night in the death Zone. A decision is made to get all climbers back to base camp and do a proper head count to see who is missing.

Base camp reports returning climbers as they return. Cecilie and Norwegian climbers descend safely.

Wilco suffering from frostbite on feet and Cas suffering from frostbite on hand with Pemba descend to safety of base camp.

Present position as we now know it
August 3rd 9.30 pm is.

8 climbers are dead and a further possible 4 need clarification. This can only be done when a head count of all climbers are done at base camp.

We are now awaiting a full update from K2 on position of all climbers which we hope that we will get tomorrow.


What started on August 1st as a great celebration of mountaineering success has turned into the worst disaster on K2.

Our thoughts and prayers go to all the families that now have climbers not accounted for on K2.

other connections for news

http://www.noritk2.nl,

www.k2climb.net

www.patfalvey.com

 

Tuesday, 05 August 2008 00:00

At last as climbers descend we have our first official report back...

Reported 4th August 08.00am - Pat Falvey Reported to (AFP) Captain Azimullah Beg an official spokesperson from the rescue co-ordination center on K2 confirms the following.

GILGIT, Pakistan (AFP) Pakistani army helicopters evacuated two frostbitten mountaineers from K2 and tried to save another on Monday after a catastrophic ice fall on the world's second highest peak killed 11 climbers. Three South Koreans, two Nepalis, two Pakistanis, a Serbian, an Irishman, a Norwegian and a Frenchman died in Friday's disastrous avalanche on the slopes of the remote 28,251-foot (8,611-metre) Himalayan mountain.

The accident was the worst for more than 20 years on the giant pyramidal peak. 'Two Dutch climbers were brought by our people and their colleagues down to base camp from an altitude of 7,300 metres overnight,' army officer Captain Azimullah Beg told AFP by satellite telephone from K2 base camp. 'They were then picked up by army helicopter from base camp this morning and have now been shifted to hospital for treatment for severe frostbite,' said Beg from the camp, which sits at 5,200 metres.

The Dutch climbers were identified as Wilco Van Rooijen, leader of one of the expeditions caught up in the tragedy, and Cas van de Gevel, according to Beg and the army-linked company operating the helicopters, Askari Aviation. A second chopper went up to help a stranded Italian identified as Marco Confortola but could not touch down and returned after a brief contact with the climber, Pakistani mountain guide Sultan Alam said. 'Our four high-altitude porters left a while ago and it is expected that they will bring the Italian climber down this evening,' he told AFP from base camp, as the roar of a helicopter could be heard in the background.

The Italian was unable to walk because of frostbite in his leg, officials said. All three climbers were 'badly affected and it appears that at least one of them would have his hand and leg chopped off. This is what our high altitude doctors believe,' Alam said. The disaster happened when a pillar of ice broke away in a steep gully known as the Bottleneck near the summit and swept away fixed lines used by the mountaineers as they made their descent on Friday. The number of dead climbers had risen from the overnight total of nine, Alam said, adding that the exact number of climbers affected remains unclear but he was aware of 17 who were involved.

'At least 11 climbers have died. This is one of the worst incidents in the history of K2 climbing,' Alam said. The incident was the deadliest to hit the peak on the Pakistan-China border since 1986 when 12 climbers died, said Nazir Sabir, a celebrated Pakistani mountaineer who scaled K2 in 1981. In Seoul, a mountaineering club on Monday confirmed that three South Koreans and two Sherpas were among those killed, adding that another two Korean climbers got to base camp before the avalanche struck. The survivors had suspended attempts to recover the bodies of their colleagues due to the 'hopeless' weather conditions, Cho Hyung-Gyu, president of the country's southeastern Kyongnam mountaineering club, told AFP. This is the first official report from K2 as all climber now returning to base camp.

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Sunday, 03 August 2008 00:00

Break of morning on K2. Disaster unfolding. 06.00am Irish time:

Reports back from K2 confirms following. All surviving climbers at camp 4 are moving down. We will not rest until they reach base camp. Climbers exhausted and suffering from altitude and been over 8,000 meters for over three days. Known to us climbers as The Death Zone. Reported climbers at bottle neck numbering estimates 5 have fallen off the mountain on descent. Category climbing estimated risen to fatal. Other sighting of 2 climbers been hit by fallen ice at bottle neck witnessed by Marco who made it to camp 4 in speaking to his brother by phone.

I cannot confirm if they are 2 of the 5 descending. Or whether it now makes 7 climber in the bottle neck. We have been informed that these are believed to be High altitude porters and some Koreans climbers. awaiting further confirmation on nationality.

All climbers who have been positioned as unknown are now feared for. Rolf Has been confirmed as one of the climbers that has been in the sarac fall and confirmed as dead. Cecile Skog his wife had been climbing on K2 with him is now descending to Base camp. Lone Climber in Orange jacket is Wilco. Pemba and Cas has made their way to him are are now descending the Cessan Route. Wilco suffering with severe frost bite on feet and Cas severe frost bite to hands. Pemba is OK. For them it will be a long day down. It's turning from celebration of success to nightmare as we still Pray for a safe outcome for those now surviving high on the mountain. The mountain Lodge expedition office will be on standby for reports from K2 throughout the day. Picture. South Georgia traverse 2006 Ger far left, Pat right and Dr Clare O Leary behind Ger.. (Pat Falvey)

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Monday, 04 August 2008 00:00

Bio in brief Ger McDonnell.

Gerard McDonnell, 37 is out on K2 for his second attempt. He reached the summit on Friday 1 August, the first Irish person to have reached it’s lofty peak. He is climbing with a Dutch team under the leadership of Wilco one of the worlds top expedition leaders. He has also been climbing on the mountain with Pemba Gyalje Sherpa who has been a Sirdar on Numerous Irish expedition with Pat Falvey. The Dutch team he is climbing with is called 'Noritk2'.

In 2006 On Ger’s first attempt he got to nearly 8000m on K2 he descended after getting hit by rock fall and pulled out.

Ger summited Everest in 2003 with Mick Murphy, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa and Pemba Rinzee Sherpa as part of the Pat Falvey led Irish Everest expedition to have been the first Irish team to have summit Everest from the original Route on Everst fro Nepal. Ger has climbed Denali 05, Foraker, Broadpeak 06 to name a few amongst many others in Nepal, Scotland, the Alps, Alaska and China.

Ger hails from Limerick, lives in Alaska for the last 10 years having moved there to advance his skills in living in colder climates and to train full time as a mountaineer. He was also a team leader, with Rolf Bae in Antarctic on South Georgia in 06 as part of the Pat’s Irish Beyond Endurance Expedition, that honoured Irish polar hero’s of Shackleton, Tom Crean, Forde, Keohane and the McCarthy brothers.

Living in Limerick are his three sisters, brother JJ and mother. His partner Annie lives in Alaska.

Picture with Irish team on Denali.
Left to right. Expedition leader Pat Falvey. John Dowd, Dr Clare O Leary, Ger playing a tune from the Bodhran and John Roche. (Pat Falvey)

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

 

Sunday, 03 August 2008 00:00

0.28 AM 3rd August.
It is with great sadness that I have received the news from Dave Bolger in Norway that our good friend and climbing partner Rolf Bae has been taken in a tragic accident on K2.

One of the worlds top explorers, have been taken from us, Rolf was climbing with his wife Cecilie Skog and died tragically while descending on K2 yesterday. He will be a great loss to the adventure world and as a friend. May he rest in peace.

Picture on a recent trip to South Georgia as guide on our trip across South Georgia in honour of our Irish polar explorers. Shackleton, Tom Crean, Forde, Keohane and the McCarthy brothers.

It’s at time like this that you just cant take in such a loss.

Sympathy to Ceicilie his Family and friends.

Pat

www.patfalvey.com

 

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