“Shishapangma – Ski from the Death Zone” is a documentary about high altitude alpinism that takes place on Tibet’s 8,027 m Shishapangma in 2000. It was part of the series Adventure Quest – Danger Diaries produced by American Adventure Productions.
Pat Morrow wrote, “I was invited by John Wilcox, CEO of American Adventure Productions in Aspen, CO, to film the Marolt brothers, and their friend Jim Gile’s attempt to become the first Americans to ski from an 8000m peak.
Having met three Kazakhs in Russia the previous year, members of the same climbing club as the late Anatoli Boukreev, the Marolts invited them to join – -the Kazakhs had had extensive experience on 6000 and 7000 meter peaks, mostly in the Pamir and Tien Shan mountains, but had never before attempted an 8000-meter peak. Along with 47-year-old Vadim Khaibulin, CEO of TourAsia was 28-year-old Andrey Serdyuk, who had an amazing nine 7,000-meter summits under his belt and 23-year-old Maxut Zhumayev who went on to climb all 14 of the eight-thousander peaks, the 12th person to do so without the use of supplemental oxygen. Later, he founded the Kazakh Alpine Club.
I worked alongside Cherie Silvera, producer for American Adventure Productions. For Cherie it was a bittersweet return to the mountain she had been on just the previous year when Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges were killed by a massive avalanche in an attempt to ski the southwest face.
On our way in to basecamp, Vadim, Andrey and i had picked up a nasty bronchial infection that dogged us the whole expedition, preventing us from joining the team on summit day. They managed to reach the central peak, 8005 m and descend in whiteout conditions.
In the course of my photographic/filmmaking career, this was the 10th mountain above 5,000m that i had used skis on.”