Several years ago now, I spent a fair bit of time climbing with a then young Leo Houlding. I have kept an eye on what he is doing over the years, and he has been a busy man. A few years ago he went on an expedition to Everest to make a film about Mallory. Whilst it has been on in cinemas, and even on IMAX theatres (I think), it is to make its British TV debut on the 17th August at 9pm on BBC two.
I have to thank Leo, as his trip inspired me to give a presentation during my MSc, during which I had to cover either the humans adaption to altitude or eurogenic aids (Performance enhancing drugs). From a person who likes to bite off more than he can chew, I contacted Leo to see what medication he took for the filming, knowing that many summiteers now take a cocktail of drugs to help them acclimatize.
What I ended up with was a great case study, and a way to introduce the drugs trials that have shown that the drugs used to help treat AMS, HAPE and HACE can be used to prevent them. The 15 minute presentation was called Has Everest Ever Had a Ture Ascent?
It was rather tongue in cheek, but essentially if the World Anti Doping Agency looked at ascents of Everest there are few if any true ascents if you include supplemental Oxygen and various forms of Medication.
Anyway I that presentation I had some great photos of Leo in both the early climbing gear and the more modern. All the shots were taken when he was film this programme. The Widlest Dream, is a look at whether or noit Mallory made it to the top of Everest, and follows on from a film where he found Mallory’s Body on the side of Everest. If you visit the website here there is a trailer.
I have to say that it looks like a great film, that is going to splice achive, re-enactments in traditional clothing and modern equipped climbers to try and get to the answer of whether Mallory could have climbed to the summit. All hinging on whether it is possible to free climbing the first and second steps of the summit ridge.
Just thought I would give you a heads up, as Kevin Thaw who was also on location with the team on Everest has just put a link up on Facebook.