The 46ers Film: 4/5 stars
I’ve seen a lot of new climbing films in the last couple of months. Meru was spectacular, Everest was an expected dud, but my favorite was an understated independent film about the mountains I know the best, The Adirondack High Peaks.
The 46ers film goes to show that a climbing movie can be missing the special effects of Everest and the blood chilling risk of Meru and still touch the viewer on a deep level. Am I biased? You bet your bottom I am! However, this film had a warmth and charm about it that would make anyone want to wander through the ADK’s.
Directed by the young Blake Cortright, the film interviews those who were aspiring or already have completed hikes on all 46 high peaks. The film manages to track down some of the oldest 46ers still with us, including a 96 year old woman who was amongst the first 50 to achieve the feat. The best part of the film was when she retold the story of chasing down a Black Bear with pots and pans until it dropped her lunch. When asked if she was scared, she replied with a nearly dismissive “no.”
You’re also given the story of how the Adirondack Park came to be protected, how several “high” peaks fell below the 4,000 foot mark, the inevitable comparison to other mountain ranges and the story of how the mountains can, indeed, be deadly.
Running an hour, the movie is as beautiful as it is a fantastic chain of personal stories. A pleasant and heartfelt change from the overly intense films that have been dominating films about the mountains.