The scenes we see on the big screen have long served as inspiration for where we choose to travel. movies like Next to put California’s Santa Ynez Valley wine region on the map; lost in translation made us want to see Tokyo; and Leonardo DiCaprio The beach took the unknown island of Ko Phi Phi Le and made it so popular that the Thai government had to shut it down for three years to allow its collapsing environment to recover. But for travel inspiration that goes beyond staying in the same hotel or walking the same stretch of sand as a famous actor, why not try documentaries?
From any film narrated by David Attenborough that makes you want to see and save the wildest places on our planet, to a musical documentary like Sigur Rós’ heima it will certainly inspire you to a trip to the remotest corners of Iceland, to an adventure film like 180° South it will make you want to explore uncharted paths in Patagonia, documentaries can create a desire not just to visit a place and take a selfie, but to experience and be part of the real life adventures seen on screen. But to recreate this magic? This is the difficult part.
Enter world-renowned mountaineers Renan Ozturk and Freddie Wilkinson, their new documentary on whiteknuckle climbing The sanctity of space, and the mad scientists of next-level luxury adventure travel in Pelorus. Inspired by the film, in which Ozturk and Wilkinson undertake the first side ascent of Denali’s Moose’s Tooth massif, travelers can now spend five days traveling with the pro climbers, watch the film alongside them in the shadow of Denali, then join the duo on a glacial expedition through the part of Moose’s Tooth that won’t kill you.
To put that into perspective, it would be like watching Free Solo then go climbing in Yosemite with Alex Honnold, or enjoy watching 14 vertices then do a trek with Nimsdai Purja in Nepal. For those who want a taste of the mountaineering lifestyle, this is an unparalleled opportunity. However, innovation comes at a price – $130,000, to be exact. But really, can you put a price on the chance to experience Denali with athletes of this caliber? (Well, Pelorus did, but that was a rhetorical question.)
If you haven’t heard of their escapades yet, Ozturk is one of the planet’s preeminent mountaineers and most prolific mountain directors and filmmakers; Wilkinson is a renowned mountaineer known for his light, low-impact style and early exploratory ascents (including the first ascent of Saser Kangri II in India, the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world at the time). They have made a name for themselves not only by defying death, but also by capturing and telling stories. On the Ozturk side, he is perhaps best known as a cinematographer and one of the stars of Meruthe Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary from Oscar-winning director and climber Jimmy Chin, director of photography and co-director of Sherpa, and recipient of National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. As for Wilkinson, he is a journalist whose work has appeared in National geographic and The New York Timesin addition to being co-director and co-screenwriter of The sanctity of space.
The journey of this new documentary, now available in the US on Apple TV, began when Ozturk saw a decades-old aerial photo of Moose’s Tooth (an ominous expanse of jagged peaks) taken by the legendary photographer, mountaineer and cartographer Bradford Washburn. From there, the climbers began the filming process that would ultimately take five years, include two attempts to pioneer the route, and result in near-fatal brain injury for Ozturk. Along the way, the film integrates incredible footage of the climb with the fascinating story of Washburn, whose maps of Denali and the Great Alaska Range served as guides to finding the region’s latest climbs and vital resources for climbers who risk it all. to discover this land up close.
The chain of inspiration continued from Washburn to Ozturk and Wilkinson to Pelorus and his two former British Army founding Captains to create something that mountaineering travelers could experience firsthand.
“The exclusive five-day experience extends to a screening of The sanctity of space alongside the directors, a photography masterclass with Ozturk, a guided glacier exploration with Ozturk and Wilkinson, and cross-country skiing and abseiling through jaw-dropping ice caverns,” said Jimmy Carroll, co-founder from Pelorus, to InsideHook. It is, as he says, “a unique opportunity to experience Denali National Park alongside the experts.” The trip also includes helicopter transfers, all the top-notch gear you’ll need, and the camera gear and drones you need to walk away with the most awesome vacation photos and videos you’ve ever posted on Instagram. (think spectacular shots of the 20,310-foot Denali and the Northern Lights).
The base camp for this adventure and a portion of the $130,000 trip price will go to a private buyout of Sheldon Chalet. In the heart of Denali National Park, 55 air miles from the nearest town and accessible only by helicopter, the luxury lodge is perched atop a rocky outcrop, surrounded by a glacier, in the middle of the amphitheater Don Sheldon. It’s a place your new travel companion Wilkinson describes as “a one-of-a-kind place that deserves to be considered along with the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest as one of the great natural wonders of the world.”
But Sheldon Chalet is not only a practical and comfortable setting to launch this adventure, it is closely linked to the story of the film’s inspiration, Brad Washburn. Don Sheldon, an experienced pilot and pioneer of what would one day become Sheldon Chalet, rode Washburn thousands of miles in eight years around Denali and the surrounding Alaskan backcountry, aiding him in his efforts to aerial photography and cartography.
In total, $130,000 might not seem so high after all.
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