“Petit Dru – Der zerfallene Berg”/ “Petit Dru – the disintegrating mountain” (Austria, 2012, Tom Dauer, Gerald Salmina, 52’)

Meeting with Joche Hemmleb - Mountains are often regarded as a metaphor for stability, unchangeability, eternity. But mountains can also change and are subjected to the dynamics of creation and destruction. The Petit Dru in the Mont blanc range is such a changing mountain. Its north face is one of the six classic north faces of the Alps, and its west face is a playground for extreme rock climbing, location of famous routes like the Bonatti Pillar or the American Direct. Both faces have been subjected to massive rock falls over the past decades, changing or even obliterating the existing climbing routes. In the film, the changing nature of the Dru is a metaphor for the sudden changes and developments a climber can experience in his or her life, The two main protagonists are Briton Andy Parkin, who lives at the foot of the Dru in Les Praz, Chamonix, and American Steve House. For the film, they climb the north face of the Petit Dru together. Parkin had been severely injured in a climbing accident in 1984 and afterwards started a new career as an artist that eventually led him back towards the mountains and extreme climbing. Steve House is one of today's leading alpinsts, who repeatedly pushed the limits on the 7000-metre and 8000-metre peaks. His life was also changed by an accident - and while Parkin found in art a different medium to express himself, Steve House changed inwardly, turning from an individualist to a mentor for young climbers. "People change. The Dru changes. People change mountains - and mountains change people." Kamera Alpin in Gold for best alpine documentary at 2012 Graz International Adventure and Mountain Film Festival
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