Ortles – South Tyrol‘s King of the Mountains (Servus TV, 2016)

My debut as director!

Ortles. Like an ice-clad castle its summit rises from the sublime mountainscape of western South Tyrol.

Ortles – a playground for climbers pushing the limits. For the film South Tyrolean mountain guide and professional alpinist, Christoph Hainz, Austrian extreme skier, Axel Naglich, and speed-riding pilots Armin Senoner and Guido Senoner from Val Gardena (South Tyrol) scale the mountain‘s forbidding North Face. While both speed-riding pilots will descend the vertiginous funnel of the wall by ski and parapente… Read more…

Matterhorn – From Myth to Trademark (Servus TV, 2015)

It is the archetypical mountain, the “Toblerone Mountain” – a mountain as how a child would draw it. The most famous peak in the Alps, perhaps in the whole world. And it is more than a mountain: it’s a trademark, a myth, a symbol – for the alps as well as alpinism.

For the 150th anniversary of the first ascent in 1865, the film explores the fascination of the mountain and the people living in the surrounding valleys. On the north side, in the Swiss village of Zermatt, the mountain has an eternal presence. Read more…

Peter Ressmann – A Dedication (Servus TV, 2013)

“…calm, unassuming – someone who said what he thought, did what he said, using neither too many nor too few words.”

This is what I wrote in 2007 about Peter “Resl” Ressmann from Kitzbühel after sharing with him an expedition to Broad Peak in the Karakoram. Three years later, in May 2010, Resl was killed during a routine rappelling exercise near Salzburg, Austria.

For Resl’s 50th birthday and the 5th anniversary of his death, Gerald Salmina produced a touching portrait, drawing on recollections from relatives, friends and climbing partners – for whom Resl will always remain a “quiet great”. Read more…

The six great North Faces of the Alps (Servus TV, 2012/13)

hile still on the Everest expedition in 2010, director Gerald Salmina and cameraman Günther Göberl told me of the “Bergwelten” series by Austrian Servus TV, for which they regularly produced features. They asked me if I, as author and climbing writer, had additional stories for them. The request led to a concept for a six-part series about the great North Faces of the Alps. As I was on another expedition to Everest in 2011, my colleague Tom Dauer reinforced the team as director and author…

  • Eiger North Face – Wall of Walls
  • Petit Dru North Face – The Disintegrating Mountain
  • Between Light and Shadow – Piz Badile Northeast Face
  • Tre Cime – The Limits of Rock Climbing
  • The Mountain has the last Word – Matterhorn North Face
  • Blessed who dies in Dreams – Grandes Jorasses North Face

Read more…

The Sherpas’ Story – Climbin Everest with a Mountain on my Back (Servus TV/Terra Mater, 2012)

In 2011 we returned once more to Everest. This time our search team for Andrew Irvine included four Sherpas: Phurba, Ngima Tenji, Ngima, and Gelu. They and their lives became the focus of another documentary: The Sherpas’ Quest. Together with director Heinz Leger, cameramen Sepp Neuper and Wolfram Wuinovic, and Theo & Stefan Fritsche we first visited the home of the Sherpas, Nepal’s Solu Khumbu region. Our team traversed the magnificent mountain landscape from Lukla via Namche Bazar, Thame, Renjo La, Gokyo, Cho La to Lobuche and Kala Pattar (5550 m) near Everest Base Camp, then continued to Dingboche and Chhukhung before finishing with an ascent of Island Peak (6183 m) and returning zo Lukla via Tengboche and Namche. Read more…

First on Everest (ORF Universum, 2010)

Rome wasn’t built in a day … The original idea to this feature-length documentary was conceived bey German producer and director Christoph Weber (Taglicht Media, Cologne), who approached me c. 2004/2005 – a long time ago! For years he and the company’s CEO, Berd Wilting, tried to secure finances for the project. In 2007 they enabled me and Werner Vennwald, co-producer at the time, to undertake a memorable research trip to Beijing, during which we recorded unique interview material with Chinese climbing veterans from the 1960s and 1970s… Read more…