Film review: Meru

Your hands will sweat, your heart will race, and you’ll leave inspired to tackle your mountain goal. Read this personal review of Meru by a Mountaineers board member.
Eric Linxweiler Eric Linxweiler
Board Member
September 14, 2015

Your hands will sweat, your heart will race, and you’ll leave inspired to tackle your mountain goal. This is just how my son, Cap, and I felt after seeing Meru.

Meru Peak is located in the Himalaya in Nanda Devi National Park in Northern India. It has three peaks, the highest of which reaches 21,667’. The central peak of the mountain, and the focus of this movie, contains the Sharkfin route. To say this is a hard route is an understatement. It has 4,000 feet of technical, high altitude ice and mixed climbing before reaching the crux:  a 1,500 foot wall of featureless granite.  

Meru follows the story of three world class climbers; Jimmy Chin, Renan Otzurk, and Conrad Anker as they tackle one of the world’s most challenging peaks. Cap and I were particularly excited to see the story of Anker, a true climbing inspiration for both of us. I have always been in awe of the feats that Anker pursues, and the thoughtfulness and passion that he gives to his team.

As the film progressed, I was reminded of my own expeditions and the amount of hard work and skill that each person brings. Anker put together an incredible team and the skills each brings not only make this climb possible, but it makes this movie possible. Their stories are unique, but fit together well to form bonds far beyond climbing. The challenges of those attempting this peak – twice – show how much sacrifice and drive they share (and their families share as well). 

Meru is not so much a movie, but a breathtaking capture of what it takes to climb perhaps the hardest route on any mountain anywhere.  Despite its stunning videography, the story of what it takes to be world class climbers takes center stage.  You are along for the journey – from homes to summit. This isn’t about just climbing Meru.  It’s the culmination of everything Conrad has done, and him forging a team of experienced and passionate climbers to do something that’s never been done before.  This story has everything – obsession, passion, loss, failure, triumph, and respect.  It weaves the lives of three people into an incredible journey that ends in much more than a summit. 

Most importantly, this movie inspired Cap to find his Meru. He couldn't wait to explore the mountains. We are a family that loves the outdoors and Anker and his team motivated us to get outside and find our next challenge!


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