Denali, which was once called Mount McKinley, is North America’s highest peak. At its towering glacier-clad summit elevation of 6,190 meters above sea level, the temperature is 30 degrees below zero Celsius even in the middle of summer. The condition there is so extreme that it has claimed some lives of explorers.
In 2016 Daisuke Sasaki, a Japanese climber and skier, embarked on an extraordinary undertaking – a one-push ski descent down the hill of the Cassin Ridge on the Southwest Face of Denali. The steep slope that drops directly down to a valley looks as if soaring almost vertically to climbers.
NHK closely followed and captured Sasaki’s great adventure in 4K using eight UHD cameras. The huge precipitous slope plumbing down at inclines of up to 55 degrees, dozens of meters deep crevasses silently gaping in the gentle-white snow cap, and avalanches tumbling rapidly down the slopes that are caused by unusual weather – all the spectacles Sasaki met at the most beautiful but the most precarious mountain in North America were filmed in a stunning quality.
Denali, however, did not so easily allow the daredevil skier to accomplish his ambitious attempt. A slip fall of a team member, who was injured in the accident, nearly discouraged him to continue his bid on the unprecedented decent, but instigated by warm supports from his team members and his profound adoration for Naomi Uemura, a great predecessor and his countryman, Sasaki decided to resume his adventure. And at last in 38 days Sasaki pulled off the stunning feat.
This is a story about a man who made a record success in the world of big-mountain skiing. In a series of suspenseful scenes of his perilous adventure into the magnificent mountain and the breathtaking decent from its ridge, it will get across the viewers how deeply the impulse for exploration dwells in our human species. His adventurous spirit will spark their sporting blood …