The White Death

Genre: Action
Director(s): David McElroy

Some call it the "White Death"

and an ancient riddle asks,

what flies without wings,

strikes without hands

and sees without eyes?

Every year more than a million

avalanches fall world wide.

Avalanches are simply part of

our planet's natural order.

It is only when we get in their way

that tragedy strikes.

Utilizing unique methods,

we continue our quest

to better understand the dynamic

power of raging snow.

But the magic of

the mountains lures us...

more and more place themselves

in harm's way.

My machine just moved over me

and everything just started moving

and I just yelled.

I just screamed "Help me God."

My whole life's flashing

in front of my eyes.

You go to inhale and you were just

inhaling a mouthful of snow.

I was sure I was gonna die.

They're not to be trusted.

They're awesome terrible things.

They'll rip you to shreds.

They'll Maytag ya.

Something we need to

learn something about.

Annapurna in Nepal,

one of the most dangerous mountains

in the world.

October 15, 1997.

Brothers Jose Antonio

and Jesus Martinez Novas,

veteran mountain climbers from Spain

plan to ascend over 26,000 feet

to the summit.

Cameraman Allejandro Rocha

is to record their departure

from Camp 2

and then await their return.

Recent storms have left deep snow

on the mountain side.

It is slow going as the brothers

set off to establish Camp Three

some 3000 feet higher on the peak.

An hour after they begin to climb

they are just two tiny dots

on the face of the mountain...

as Allejandro shoots video

from the tent.

As he faces death.

Allejandro captures

a final self portrait.

But just as it reaches the tent,

the avalanche is spent.

Allejandro is astonished

to find himself alive,

but has little hope for his friends.

Are you alright?

Like specters they emerge from

the white eager to tell their tale.

The following day

the weather got worse

and they were driven off Annapurna.

Some 20 percent of the Earth's land

mass is crowned by mountains.

In the Andes, the Caucasus,

the Himalaya,

the Alps and the Rockies avalanches

exert their terrible power.

in the United States

from Vermont to Alaska.

And here deep in the back country

of Alaska...

Three experts are seeking to

photograph the perfect avalanche.

With cinematographer Steve Kroschel,

world renowned avalanche experts

Doug Fesler and Jill Fredston,

are here both to trigger

the snow slide

and ensure the safety

of Kroschel's film crew.

I realize the power of the avalanche

and I try to capture that on film.

I mean it really rouses people.

It stirs in all of us something.

I don't know, primeval.

It's very interesting.

But to get those images,

I must go down into these

dangerous zones

where the avalanche

is going to come down

and if I make a mistake,

if I'm wrong, it'll cost me my life.

So being with people

like Doug and Jill

who are experts

and know snow safety to a T.

That's what their main objective is

to make sure that

I don't get killed.

I'm aware of the lighting conditions

that he wants.

And I'm aware of the kind of

avalanche he'd like to have.

But sometimes I feel like

I have to do a little reality check.

Because there's exposure

from crevasse fields

that are in the run out zone,

that people could fall down

and have avalanche potential

if they're on adjoining slopes.

And so those are the things

that I'm looking at.

First and foremost I want to

make it a safe spot.

Can we go along this ridge to

this little peak

where that cornice is just

go right along so I can look out.

This is a good spot isn't it Doug?

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"The White Death" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Jul 2020. <>.

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