MERU: Documentary About Three Climbers’ Quest to Ascend the Shark’s Fin

On Friday, when I got home… I ended up just plopping in bed with Liz. She ended up napping, but I ended up finding the documentary Meru on Amazon Prime and cued it up.

What an amazing documentary! I had heard about it some months ago on a brief NPR segment, and the description (and name) stuck in my head. I made a mental note to track down the film… and then lost track of it.

From the moment it began, I was captivated. Here’s the trailer:

Meru is about three seasoned climbers: Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. It’s Anker who has the vision of ascending Meru, and the film follows the trials they undergo – both on and off the mountain.

Author Jon Krakauer is a voice that appears throughout the doc, and this is his summary of Meru:

“You can’t just be a good ice climber. You can’t just be good at altitude. You can’t just be a good rock climber. It’s defeated so many good climbers and maybe will defeat everybody for all time. Meru isn’t Everest. On Everest you can hire Sherpas to take most of the risks. This is a whole different kind of climbing.”

It has been a long while since I’ve been moved by a documentary. I was reminded of The Bridge and The Great Happiness Space – something compelling that just draws you into an entirely different world from the one you know.

The views are amazing, the storyline inspiring – Meru is just a tremendous doc all around. I highly, highly recommend it if you come across it. And if you’re an Amazon Prime member – seek this film out!

[Photos: Jimmy Chin]

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