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By David Breashears

This striking memoir is the tale of the famed IMAX cinematographer, adventurer, and mountaineer, whose terrifying studies in the course of the 1996 season on Mt. Everest turned the defining second of his existence. of full-color images.

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The 4 of us—Carmichael, Lowe, Shea, and myself as gofer and assistant cameraman—comprised the full group. Personalities apart, paintings at the shoot bore an eerie resemblance to the dynamic of the workover rigs. We needed to move in lean, suggest, and effective. First we needed to make base camp within the Jim Smith Hut. Perched at the reduce Saddle at 11,000 toes, the Jim Smith was once an previous military surplus Quonset hut that may sleep fifteen and have been used for years as a fashion station via mountain publications. It was once overdue may possibly however the wintry weather were lengthy, with very heavy snows. Our legs made postholes thigh-high within the deep snows of the wooded area. larger at the procedure we needed to kick steps into demanding crust. The hut was once a multitude and entire of drifted snow. It regarded as though nobody had occupied it because the prior fall. And this used to be going to be domestic for the following 5 weeks. Periodically extra snow fell, and the wind blew chilly and difficult over Fourth of July weekend. The neighborhood courses hadn’t felt it used to be secure to lead the Grand Teton but, so we had the mountain to ourselves. We went out each day regardless of the depressing climate. Our destinations have been steep slopes and deep gullies for Steve’s skis. Greg and Bob went over the sport plan: why they wanted what scene, how they have been going to shoot it, and what half it should play within the movie. Greg particularly took me lower than his wing and talked for hours approximately movie, mild, composition, filters, and assorted digital camera strikes. whilst I wasn’t operating with the movie team i used to be humping lots to the taking pictures websites or going to city for extra provides. I’d come up in darkness and descend 5,000 vertical ft via snowfields, then force fifteen miles into Jackson. There I’d fill my pack with sixty or seventy kilos of meals and hold it again up the 5,000 ft to decrease Saddle. occasionally I couldn’t hold the entire provides straight away and needed to return down the mountain back to the path head to hold up one other load. the path time was once illuminating. i used to be gaining my very own feel of snow in all other forms of conditions—how to maneuver in it, tips to commute nice distances within the mountains. It used to be nice actual education, and the adventure extra icy volumes to my wisdom of residing and touring taking walks within the mountains. now not until eventually we neared the top of the shoot did the movie ultimately obtain its name Fall Line. as a result of Grand’s jutting structure, Steve Shea used to be mostly limited to snowboarding in steep, slender snow gullies whose partitions have been naked rock. Steve needed to keep on with the autumn line-that imaginary line of direct descent—without falling. A fall for that reason intended nearly convinced loss of life. donning a helmet didn’t jibe with identical to an severe skier. We’d been residing within the hut for 5 weeks, filming approximately on a daily basis. many of the movie used to be within the can. in this day Greg used to be around the valley getting a telephoto shot immediately right into a gully Steve might descend. The sky was once transparent and that i was once hidden from the digicam at the back of a rock. From that vantage element, I watched as Steve started his robust bounce turns at either side of the trough.

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