The Angry Corrie 21: Jan-Feb 1995

Video Review: Alps 4000

Premiered at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival on 25th November (whilst yours truly was half-a-mile away grooving on down at a Wolfstone gig), this video tells of a long-distance traverse to rival the Watershed - yet another plug for your Ed. In what was described as the worst summer weather in ten years, Martin Moran and Simon Jenkins set out to cover all 79 Alpine peaks over 4000m. This video sets itself the rather optimistic task of representing this inspired lunacy in around an hour.

Sensibly, it does not attempt a "peak one through to seventy-nine" approach, nor does it spend over half the time, as some mountaineering videos do, expressing the oneness of the climbers with the glorious infinity of nature and emphasising well past the point of tedium what wonderful human beings the climbers are. What it does achieve is unusually appropriate balance between planning sequences, scenic views and actual climbing sequences. What is particularly creditable is the substantial footage devoted to the support climbers, usually relegated to a secondary role in the credits at the end.

All in all, this well-balanced and well-shot video comprises an excellent documentary of a remarkable expedition. Doubtless, a book will surface eventually (has already: Alps 4000, published by David & Charles, 17.99 - Ed.), but, in the meantime, this has to be one of the few climbing videos actually worth buying.

Roderick Manson

Available at 14.99 + 2. 00 p&p from Chris Film and Video Ltd, Glasshouses Mill, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate, Albion, HG3 5QH

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