Cold, what mountain films are all about

Cold, a short from Forge Motion Pictures by Cory Richards and Anson Fogel, is the quintessential mountain film. Pieced together with loving care within hours of its premiere this summer at the 5 Point Film Festival, the movie has merit for all the critical details that make adventure media a genre unto itself. Showing next week at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Alberta, Canada, Cold has all the elements that define the modern adventure flick with real, raw, and relevant content that inspires audiences to edge of their seats and the heights of their own ambitions.
Shot on location with a hand-held camera Cold is the story of three climbers as they make their way to the summit of Gasherbrum II in winter. On February 2, 2011, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards were the first to ascend an 8,000-meter peak in Pakistan through the coldest months of the year. With temperatures at 36 degrees below zero the team faced deep snow, high winds and the ever-present risk of avalanche. And as in most expeditions to reach a high summit getting to the top was only part of the objective.


“We’re only half way,” Richards says in the film. “This is where everyone dies. We still have to get down.”



What makes Cold so compelling as a film is its ability to thoroughly capture the reality of the mountaineering experience. Both climber and camera man Richards demonstrates what is now possible with the technical capabilities of modern video equipment. And through the skillful editing of filmmaker Fogel the images Richards collected are beautifully arranged to weave a narrative that shows all the dangers, risks, rewards and motivation that prompt people today to ascend high mountains.



Though it depicts a historical event Cold is by no means a documentary. Instead it is a brief yet passionate account of a true experience whose intimate detail reveals what can be discovered when left exposed and vulnerable to the reality of the frigid elements. ~ JEM

The Joy Trip Project Adventure Media Review is made possible with the support of sponsors Patagonia and The Walton Works

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.