DOCU SERIES

THE SIX NORTH FACES OF THE ALPS

Bleak, cold, forbidding, steep: the alpine north faces are the epitome of extreme mountaineering. This especially applies to the north faces of the mountains Eiger, Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Piz Badile, Großer Zinne and Aiguille du Dru.

Every one of them is part of a well-known and prominent peak, and a milestone of alpine history links every one of the faces.

In the 20th century, they embodied those goals which a mountaineer had to have conquered in order to rank among the elite. To this day these faces constitute a popular and at the same time exceedingly dangerous arena for extremes.

In six episodes, each of these faces is portrayed, and associated human fates, adventures and stories are recounted from new and surprising perspectives.

World-famous elite mountaineers such as Robert Jasper, Roger Schaeli, Ueli Steck, Hansjörg Auer, Alexander Huber and Steve House demonstrate climbing skill at the highest level through first and solo ascents. Spectacular images from the faces and breath-taking Cineflex shots allow the viewer to participate in the events up close. Archive material partially never shown before as well as interviews with mountaineering legends such as Reinhold Messner, Walter Bonatti and Sir Chris Bonington recount dramatic stories of triumphs and tragedies. Modernity and history blend to form portraits featuring spectacular mountain landscapes and adventure stories which depict people in extreme situations.

Available on Blu-Ray and DVD

"THE GREAT NORTH FACES OF THE ALPS" am 28th December 2016 at 21:15 on Servus TV

 

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1. EIGER: THE FACE OF ALL FACES

The two extreme mountaineers Robert Jasper and Roger Schäli enter the history of the Eiger north face with a free ascent of the “John Harlin Direttissima”. As a result, the legend of the “face of all faces” (“Wand der Wände”) – which was born through the triumphs and tragedies in the 1930s, and in whose shadow modern mountaineers climb – lives on.

2. MATTERHORN: THE MOUNTAIN HAS THE LAST WORD

The Matterhorn is arguably the most famous and well-known mountain in the Alps, if not the world. Spectacular climbing shots and heretofore never seen settings from filming in the face of the mountain show that the mountain still has the last word to this day when it comes to pioneering feats.

3. GRANDES JORASSES: BLESSED IS HE WHO DIES IN HIS DREAMS

The hidden, 1,200 meter high north face of the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc area is one of the most impressive rock faces in the Alps. With its spectacular scenery comprised of rock pillars and chasms it provides the suitable background for a bleak chapter in the history of the great north faces: the experiences of a man who only narrowly escaped death at the north face of the Grandes Jorasses are recounted.

4. PIZ BADILE: LIGHT AND SHADOW

In 1952, exceptional Austrian mountaineer Hermann Buhl (1924-1957) succeeded in a remarkable tour de force: from Landeck in Austria he rode his bicycle into the Swiss-Italian Bergell valley (Val Bregaglia), climbed through the northeast face of Piz Badile in four and a half hours – as the first to do so in a solo effort – and afterwards rode with the bicycle back to Austria, whereby he fell into the Inn River shortly before the goal because of fatigue.

For this film, young Hansjörg Auer from Tyrol follows the trail of Hermann Buhl.

5. DRU: THE RUINED MOUNTAIN

Englishman Andy Parkin and American Steve House are marked by extreme life in the mountains. Both had to change their lifestyle after tragic accidents. Together they climb in the north face of Petit Dru. The rock face is marked by rockslides and stands like no other for the geological changes in the Alps.

6. THE DREI ZINNEN: LIMITS OF ROCK CLIMBING

The north face of the Große Zinne (Cima Grande) in the Dolomites – as well as the north faces of its neighboring peaks Westliche Zinne (Cima Ovest) and Kleine Zinne (Cima Piccola) – has been the setting during all epochs of alpine rock climbing. Extreme climber Alexander Huber guides viewers through the history of the Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime) and rock climbing while he himself demonstrates the present state of climbing skill in two spectacular routes on the Cima Grande and Cima Ovest.